Will Your Site Die With Google Reader?

Death of Google Reader

If you’re a Web publisher, or do content marketing, some of your website’s traffic comes from Google Reader. Sadly, Google Reader is going away. Soon — on July 1, to be precise.

That’s a worry. What will happen to all those readers who find you via your RSS feed? They may not use Reader directly, but many news readers depend on Google Reader. My own preferred reader, Reeder, certainly does.

When Reader goes, your readers will still get their news fix, but their new news reader may not list your blog.

Check your traffic logs. How much traffic do the news readers send you?

Your traffic might collapse in July. As What If The Google Reader Readers Just Don’t Come Back? | TechCrunch points out:

“As my site has grown, Reader has become an increasingly important way for people to read my site. And it has clearly driven a lot of that growth. That all ends this coming July.”

As many people have pointed out, there’s always email.

Convince your readers to subscribe to your email list

Encourage subscriptions. The challenge is that we all get too much email already, so few people will sign up. I don’t need any more email either. I stuff most of my email in a To Read (one day) folder. We’re all busy.

Is there another solution? Share yours, please.

Angela Booth is an Australian copywriter, Web writer and content strategist. Want your website to do more for your business? Contact Angela via email to set up a chat. She loves to talk about business and the Web.

photo credit: Lawrence OP via photopin cc

Build Your Brand and Links with Guest Blogging: Get Visible

Launch

You’ve just launched your first website. Oh, the excitement!

Wonderful as having a site go live may be, you’re soon depressed. Where is everybody?

You need traffic.

While there are many ways to get traffic, they usually involve pain of some kind. Either money-pain — you need to pay for advertising — or time-pain, if you decide to go the content marketing route.

I’m a firm believer in content marketing, but it takes time, especially with a new website.

What if there were a way around the slow process of content marketing?

Glad you asked, because there is: guest blogging.

As this article, 5 Ways To Get The Best Links For New Websites, reports:

“I cannot stress enough how important it is to guest blog for links, especially if no one knows who you are. Get the right topic on the right blog, and the results can be pretty astronomical. You get the link juice, sure, but you also get traffic, brand awareness, and potentially even conversions.”

Yes, you’re nobody until someone loves you, and guest blogging is the way to get that love.

I’m interested in guest blogging, because I’m about to start doing it for a couple of my blogs. (I have many, many blogs; I’m addicted.)

Here’s the process I’m following for each blog I want to promote:

1. Cast a cold eye on the blog. What’s good/ bad about it? Who’s the audience? Why?

Yes, I know this already. And yes, you know who the audience is for YOUR site, too. However, having it in your head is one thing. Putting it in words is something else. Put it into words. Trust me, it makes a BIG difference.

2. Scout around for appropriate blogs on which to guest.

I’ll choose two high-visibility blogs on which to guest post first.

3. Read each blog as if it were holy writ.

Just as you cast a cold, discerning eye on your own site, you need to do the same for any site on which you’d like to guest-post.

What topics does the blog cover? Who’s the audience? What’s the blog’s style? How many words in a typical post?

4. Brainstorm keywords and ideas for posts.

This is fun. I like to do it when I’m away from my office. I head out to my favorite coffee shop, and noodle on my iPad.

Keep this fun, and light. You can’t push creativity. Let the ideas come to you. Think of it as fishing for ideas… :-) If you’ve ever gone fishing, that’s the mindset to adopt. Just dangle a little hook in your subconscious mind, and see what comes up for you.

5. Send a message to each blog, dangling your guest post ideas in front of them.

Make it clear that you read the blog you’re approaching. Then offer the titles of three blog posts you could write, with a short, one-paragraph summary for each post.

6. Write your guest posts…

Once an idea is accepted, write, and send your guest post off. You’re done. Once your posts are published, you’ll gain some welcome links, and visibility. (Tip: follow any instructions you’re given exactly — there’s always a reason people want things done in a certain way.)

If you need help, just brief me. I’m happy to ghostwrite some guest posts for you.

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Keywords for Profit: Maintain Your SEO Sanity

Words

5 Tips for Choosing Keywords to Attract Customers and Inspire Sales

If your webpages aren’t found, there’s no point in creating them. The way to ensure that they’re found is to give a little thought to keywords.

Don’t worry – a little research goes a long way; there’s no need to obsess. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can drive you crazy if you allow it to. Remember, it’s as much an art as a science.

Mostly, keyword tools are free.

Spend 20 minutes or so once a month reviewing your keywords, and you’re done.

Here are some tips which will help.

1. Beat the competition with phrases, rather than single words.

I like to use Google Insights for Search for this.

Let’s look at an example.

In the image below, I did a search for “weight loss”. There are 11 MILLION searches for weight loss per month. How easy go you think it would be to be found for this keyword?

Impossible, is right.

It’s much easier to get found if you use a search phrase, which is related to weight loss (or whatever your keyword happens to be), but which has much less competition.

Go to the AdWords Keywords Tool, and do your search. Click the disclosure triangle at the bottom of your keyword, and you’ll find the link to Google Insight for Search, as you can see in the image below.

Insights

At the bottom of the Insights page, you’ll see “Rising Searches.”

In the image below, you’ll see Rising Searches for “weight loss” on the day I visited.

Breakout

You’ll have to tinker and brainstorm, but optimizing for a phrase you created using Insights is much better than trying to get a webpage found for a high-value keyword.

2. Track your keywords.

Whenever you’re working with keywords, keep notes. The easiest way to do this is to create a spreadsheet. Make sure that you include the date on which you did your research. Keywords age.

Keywords come and go in fashion. More to the point, remember that all keyword data is historical. No tool can tell you what people are searching for right now, or will be searching for a week from now.

3. Use your imagination to develop “new” keywords.

I like to visit forums related to keywords I’m researching, to see what words the forum members are using. You can find some wonderful high-value keywords which others are ignoring.

I also like to brainstorm, keeping the customers of the product I’m promoting – or the interest group for the information I’m sharing – in mind.

Someone once said that keywords reveal intentions. Your goal is to get conversions, using your keywords.

Keep a column in your spreadsheet for the results of your brainstorming session.

4. Optimize each webpage for just one or two keywords.

Forget “keyword density.” Pick ONE keyword per webpage, and use the phrase as naturally as you can. Search engines are getting smarter, so write for readers, rather than for the search engines.

5. Add low-volume keywords to pages judiciously.

In addition to optimizing for ONE keyword per webpage, use another couple of phrases you’ve found from your research.

Use them judiciously – that is, use them to increase the likelihood of making conversions.

Bonus tip: Revisit your webpages, and update keywords where necessary. For example, let’s say you’ve just read a press release announcing a product, which is related to your industry, which will be highly promoted – and for which customers will search. You can ride on the coattails of that new popular keyword by updating a webpage or two to include it.

Remember to do this judiciously – it must make sense for you to update your page with this new information.

6. (Bonus) Review your keywords once a month.

Nothing stays the same on the Web. Therefore, review your keywords occasionally. Keywords rise and fall away.

Use these tips. They’ll help you to maintain your SEO sanity, and will help you to get conversions from your webpages.

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Document Sharing: Another Easy Way to Get Traffic to Your Website

Scribd.jpg

This is the third article in our series which shows you easy ways to get traffic to your website.

I love document sharing; I don’t do it as often as I should.

Here’s how it works. You create PDFs of your content (articles, reports, ebooks) and upload them to the document sharing sites. There’s a social aspect to this; think of it as YouTube for documents. People can subscribe to your uploads, and add comments.

Popular document sharing sites include:

Scribd

DocShare

You’ll get the most value from document sharing if you look at it from the point of view of your readers. Offer genuine value in your documents.

For example, I’ve just started offering free reports. My aim with these reports is to offer real value. I’m creating the reports based on what my clients and writing students need to know.

I want each reader to get at least one practical nugget of information from each report that they can use right away. I could create reports more quickly, just by repurposing articles, and while I’ll do that in the future, at the moment, I want to offer unique content.

Visit both the above sites, and join. Check out the Terms of Service, and follow them to the letter. Aim to provide great content, which is truly valuable, and you can’t go wrong.