When I saw my first blog, I wasn't ... first blogs I ever read were ... tales of teenage angst better left private, ... ... from both the rabid right and the rabid left,
When I saw my first blog, I wasn't impressed.
The first blogs I ever read were embarrassing tales of teenage angst better left private, political diatribes from both the rabid right and the rabid left, and jargon-filled tech rags that made my eyes glaze over
And yet everyone was talking about blogs and that I would soon be left behind if I didn't have one. But they never gave me a simple explanation of how it would benefit me. They talked about RSS - you know, the obligatory "real simple syndication" - followed by a long, boring, techie article filled with jargon that wasn't simple at all. They talked about syndicating my site, but not how that would benefit my business.
No one ever told me, "Hey, fool, listen up! How would you like a 3 or 4 line text link to your site on thousands of other sites getting you tons of traffic and backlinks up the ying-yang on all the SE's?"
If they had, trust me. I'd have been blogging my heart out!
Eventually I did start a blog simply because it was getting harder and harder to get my ezine delivered. This particular ezine delivers tips to network marketers. Now if you've had any experience with spam filters, you know that any email with the "M" word (MLM) or the "N" word (network marketing) practically lights up the scoreboard! I even tried using "M*L*M" or "net*work mark@eting." But that got old real fast. Trying to sound like a halfway intelligent professional while writing like a first grader on their first day of school just didn't cut it. I was starting to confuse even myself!
So I decided to start a blog, and then just email my list with the link to the article every week. Not only has that greatly increased the day to day traffic to my site, but I discovered a couple of interesting benefits along the way.
One big bonus was how easy it was to publish to my site. Doing things the old way, I wrote and delivered my ezine. Then I converted the article to html and FTP'd it up to my site. Then I had to download and update my article archive page. Then I had to download and update my sitemap. Then I would download my index page and add a little blurb about the new article to get it indexed faster. All told, several hours of mind-numbingly boring work.
Not so with a blog. I just write my articles in NoteTab, then copy and paste them into my Blogger control panel. It adds all the HTML and places it into my chosen template, FTP's it to my site, and updates my archives - all in the blink of an eye! Talk about an easy-to-use content management system. Even a 10-year-old could have done it.
After I posted my first article on my new blog, I realized I could get some new backlinks to my site by submitting the blog to some of the many blog directories. So I spent a few hours sumbitting my blog.
But my eyes didn't really open until a couple of weeks later. I started realizing I was making more sales than usual and popped in to check my web stats. To my astonishment, I realized I was getting 50-100 more visitors per day. I checked my referrer logs and then my backlinks on Yahoo and found over 100 new traffic sources and links!
I clicked through on some of those links and then a big lightbulb lit up in my head. Those new referrers were from the many people using RSS feeds on their sites. And their site visitors were actually clicking on those links and finding my site.
Now I was hooked!
Think about that - 50-100 more visitors per day, and 100 new backlinks. All from one article that I posted to a brand new blog that took 5 minutes to set up on Blogger.com for free! How many free marketing techniques get those kind of results right out the door? And how much better would my results be from regular posts to my blog and submitting it to even more blog directories? Or from simultaneously posting those blog posts to article directories?
That was 2 months ago, and I'm discovering that the answer is every bit as exciting as I had hoped! Not only that, but I'm discovering more and more ways to improve my results. And ways to use blogs in new and exciting ways that I don't hear other people talking about.
I know that many marketers are under the impression that blogs are just for geeks, or that blogs are just some new toy everyone is getting but no one knows what to do with. If that has been your belief, I hope you'll take a second look!