It’s the time of the year when we take a look in the rear-view mirror and assess we’ve done.
How did you do this year? Did your blog attract new readers? Were you able to grow your email list? Did you try guest posting? After looking through my notes and google analytic reports I uncovered a few techniques that worked exceptionally well this year.
Here are 12 of the best performers:
1. Email Lists:
Email lists are the red-headed step child of blog publishing. Many people hate asking people to sign-up for their email lists. It can be difficult to manipulate autoresponder software to send out the right email at the right time. Its tough to watch people unsubscribe even though you have the best intentions.
Sending your blog posts to your email list is the best way to generate repeat visits to your blog. Your email list are your fans that fill the seats at every ball game. You’ve worked hard to attract readers, get them on your email list to keep them.
Although there’s a learning curve with email, providers like Aweber and Mailchimp make it easy to get up and going. Also many WordPress theme providers offer easy built-in widgets for connecting your blog to an email provider.
- Why Your Blog Needs a Mailing List
- 5 Places to Build Your Blog’s Email List
- 10 Sure Fire Ways to Get 10,000 Email Subscribers
Su.pr is StumbleUpon’s link shortener. It also has a nifty secret. When you share a su.pr shortened link, visitors who click will see a Stumbleupon bar in their browser window. The bar makes it easy for readers to click the Stumble button potentially sharing your audience with a wide-audience. Since the beginning of the year, StumbleUpon has sent 1,400 visitors to Pushing Social via the su.pr shortened link.
Mostly everyone agrees that Stumbleupon isn’t high-quality traffic but it does send a few winners who will stick with your blog over the long term. Since using the Su.pr shortener is free, you won’t be sacrificing time or money filtering the traffic.
- Blogging Tips: How to Promote and Publicize
- How to Make a Blog Post Go Viral in StumbleUpon
- How to Make Your Blog Big on StumbleUpon
3. Twitter versus TweetMeme
I hate to turn my back on Tweetmeme but Twitter stepped up its game and delivered a Follow button with accurate results. I’ve noticed that Tweetmeme under-reports Twitter shares by almost 50% on some posts. I switched over to the “official” Twitter button and have been happy with the results.
I’m not sure if this has led to more visitors but I did see a sharp up-tick in followers. I suspect this is do to the suggestion feature when someone clicks the twitter follow-button.
4. GA Journaling
Stick with me here. Every time I make any change to Pushing Social, I go to Google Analytics and make an annotation on the day. I record when I implement a new plugin, add a pop-up, or test a new landing page. I call this GA (Google Analytics) Journaling. The benefits are that I don’t have to guess about which change caused which traffic increase.
This one habit alone has made it simpler to find the stuff that works in my Google Analytic reports and repeat it.
- Only one epic article needed: 50 Google Analytics Resources – 2011 Edition
5. Guest Posting on the Right Blogs
I love guest posting. I plan to do more in the future. However, I focus on the big dogs in the niche. Pound for pound, I get the biggest traffic increase from blogs with large audiences.
It’s tmpting to write 10 posts for 10 small blogs to avoid the stress of writing one post for a A-List blog but this doesn’t make sense. Just writing the 10 posts and send them to the same large blog. You will increase your chances of being published and still get more traffic.
6. Posting Every Day
Posting every week day has doubled my traffic. Quality is still good (I’m a bit biased). I’ve welcomed some new people to the PS Posse and I’m enjoying blogging more. This might be an aberration but its a technique that has worked for me.
Test this for yourself. Don’t take someone else’s word for it. You might be surprised by the results.
7. Headline SEO
In October, I took some extra time to see if I could improve the SEO quality of my headlines. I didn’t stress over it. I didn’t try to game the system. I just stopped and asked, would a keyword work in this headline? After researching keywords and analyzing my posts with Scribe I’ve been able to improve my headlines drastically.
As a result, I’ve been able to get the #1 spot for very competitive keyphrases with one or two posts. One keyphrase alone has attracted 800 new readers.
- Getting the Most Out Of the All-In-One SEO Pack Plugin
- Blog Design for Killer SEO
- Do Keywords in Post Titles Matter?
8. Accepting Guest Posts
Talented and professional guest bloggers are a gift from god.
I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed sharing the stage with smart people who are passionate about their craft. Guest Bloggers bring their audience as well as their skills. The key is to be picky about who you accept as guest bloggers. Remember that your readers come to your blog for your voice and perspective, don’t give the microphone to someone else unless you are absolutely sure they can deliver.
If you decide to use guest post, author clear guidelines about quality, tone, and topic selection.
10. Buffer App
I love Buffer. I read tons of stuff and it’s a pain to schedule my Tweets. Buffer gives me one-click twitter scheduling. The buffer kids boast frequent twitters get more traffic. I can’t prove it (yet) but I’ve seen new followers that are happy retweeters. Coincidence? Not sure, but every little bit counts.
11. Landing Pages
I use landing pages to rank well for certain keywords. These pages are called cornerstone or pillar pages and were pioneered by Copyblogger and Problogger. Essentially these pages are keyword rich and offer quick access to categorized posts. You can make them by creating a simple blog page or using easy landing page plugins such as Premise.
Here’s an example of one of my landing pages.
Over time the landing pages rank well and attract search engine traffic to your blog.
Triberr helps bloggers find quality content to share with their followers. Triberr is controversial, thought-provoking, and oh-so useful. I am part of a great tribe that produces quality content. Triberr stopped auto-tweeting so you have to approve every retweet which is a good thing. I consistently see high-quality visitors from Triberr members which makes it worth my time and attention.
This is a quick list and I didn’t go into much detail. Let me know if you have any questions below and I will either point you in the right direction or publish a few follow-up posts.