'A Day Without Immigrants' Promises A National Strike Thursday
Some businesses are closing for the day; others are staying open and pledging to contribute a share of the day's proceeds to nonprofits that aid Latino communities.
Why Ditching NAFTA Could Hurt America's Farmers More Than Mexico's
Trade in food between the U.S. and Mexico has exploded over the past 15 years. President Trump is talking about restricting that trade, but when it comes to food, such moves could backfire.
Trump Chooses R. Alexander Acosta As New Labor Nominee
President Trump announced a new nominee to run the Labor Department on Thursday. R. Alexander Acosta is a law school dean and former U.S. attorney in southern Florida. He's also been a member of the National Labor Relations Bureau.
Boeing CEO Reportedly Listened In On Trump's F-35 Calls With Lockheed
NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Bloomberg reporter Anthony Capaccio about Trump's calls to the general responsible for the Lockheed fighter jet program, with the Boeing CEO reportedly listening in.
Yahoo Warns More Users That Their Private Information May Have Been Stolen
The company warned some users that their accounts may have been accessed using forged cookies in connection with a previously disclosed hack in 2014.
Germ History: Milkmaids Inspire Vaccines, But The Germs Keep Coming
After milkmaids helped discover vaccination, we spent the next 150 years learning how to keep ourselves safe from germs. By the 1960s, we thought the battle was finally over. If only!
LA's Moves To Protect Immigrant Street-Food Vendors Come With A Catch
LA is the only major U.S. city where selling food on the sidewalk is illegal. President Trump's immigration policies have pushed the city council to change the law. But the devil is in the details.
A Departing Bank Regulator's Advice To Stave Off Another Financial Crisis
Departing Federal Reserve Board member Daniel Tarullo was a key architect of post-crisis financial reforms. He talks about how those reforms have worked and what could help in the future.
Trump Picks R. Alexander Acosta As New Labor Nominee
The president's first choice, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination on Wednesday after facing criticism from members of both parties.
Washington State Court Rules Florist Broke The Law By Refusing To Serve Gay Couple
The state Supreme Court has ruled that a florist broke a state anti-discrimination law when she refused to provide flowers for a wedding between two men.
The South Has Been Slow To Harness Its Wind, But That's Changing
There are several reasons the region is lagging in wind energy including lower wind speeds. But now North Carolina is home to the first large-scale commercial wind farm in the Southeast.
Recipe For New Sports? Just Add A Drone
You may have heard of drone racing, but people keep coming up with new ways to enjoy these flying machines. A Latvian firm has developed a drone to pull snowboarders in a sport called "droneboarding."
Senate Narrowly Confirms Mulvaney As Trump's OMB Director
Democrats who opposed his nomination spoke of Rep. Mick Mulvaney's view that Social Security and Medicare must be overhauled something President Trump has promised not to undertake.
5 Things to Think About Before You Start a Blog
It’s time! You’ve had it in the back of your mind for a while now, but you’ve realised the hour is right to take the plunge, and you want to start a blog. Welcome! You’ve come to the right place. If creating a blog is something you’ve been thinking about.more The post 5 Things to Think About Before You Start a Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.
Community Discussion: Do You Use a Schedule?
Perhaps you’re using a schedule right now? We can’t be everywhere online 24/7 (and really, who would want to be?) but our work benefits from being available for the people wherever they are in the world. I am a huge fan of scheduling, without it I wouldn’t have the work-life.more The post Community Discussion: Do You Use a Schedule? appeared first on ProBlogger.
How To Make Time To Grow A Successful Blog When You Have A Full-Time Job
This is a guest contribution fromMichelle Schroeder-Gardner ofMaking Sense of Cents. In August of 2011, I started Making Sense of Cents while working my full-time job. I didn’t have much time to spend on it, as I was working full-time and working towards my Finance MBA, but I used every.more The post How To Make Time To Grow A Successful Blog When You Have A Full-Time Job appeared first on ProBlogger.
177: How to Build Traffic and Momentum on Your Blog After a Blogging Slump
Six Ways to Boost Traffic on Your Blog In todays lesson, I want to talk about getting your traffic kick started in the new year. Many bloggers struggle with getting traffic momentum early in the year after the holiday period traffic slump that most of us go through because our readers are not online as much or after weve taken a bit of time off blogging – and it can be frustrating to come back to your blog and see traffic lower than it was last year. In this lesson, I want to give you 6 things you can do to hopefully boost your traffic a little and to hopefully get it back to where it was or even higher. So if youre looking for a boost in traffic – today is for you. Further Resources on Strategic Blogging Combined with Blogging from the Heart BuzzSumo Tips on Creating More Shareable Content Interview With Donna Moritz on Repurposing Content Into Slidedecks Creating Community Challenges and Content Events Tips on Creating Guest Content Tips on Building Your Profile Through Comments on Other Blogs Tips on Using Autoresponders I talk about having a fight in 3 Ways to Define What Your Blog Is About Ultimate Guide to Landscape Photography Ultimate Guide to Street Photography Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view Hey! Its Darren from ProBlogger. Welcome to episode 177 of the ProBlogger podcast! As I said, my names Darren Rowse, and Im the blogger behind ProBlogger.com, which is a blog, a podcast, an event, job board, and series of eBooks all designed to help you as a blogger to grow your audience and to make money from your blog. You can learn more about ProBlogger at ProBlogger.com. In todays lesson, I wanna talk about getting your traffic kick started for the new year or (if youre listening to this in a few months time) after youve had some kind of a slump in traffic. Many bloggers struggle with getting traffic momentum early in the year. Maybe its because your readers have been away over the holiday period. I know a lot of Aussie bloggers particularly struggle at this time of year because a lot of their readers are away at the beach or have just had holidays. Theyve not been online as much. Or maybe its because youve been away, and youve stopped blogging for a couple of weeks to have a break. Whatever the reason, whether its end-of-the-year slumps or mid-year slumps because I know a lot of American bloggers have a mid-year slump when a lot of their readers go away for summer holidays. In this lesson, I wanna give you six things you can do to hopefully boost your traffic, to give you a bit of a kick start in terms of traffic after a slump, and hopefully get things back to where your traffic was or even higher. If youre looking for a boost in traffic, todays episode is for you. You can listen at ProBlogger.com/podcast/177, where Ill have some show notes and further readings and further listening for you as well. Lets get into todays show. I got an email this morning from one of my readers, who said, Ive had a slump in traffic over the holidays and the new year and need to get things back on track. What should I do? A number of things come to mind. Some of what I wanna share this morning, I have touched on in previous podcasts, so Im gonna refer back to those where I have done that. Six things came to mind. Half of them are content-related, and half of them are not. Ill start with the content-related ones because sometimes renewing your focus on content can kick start traffic and help to build some momentum on your site. The first thing that I would be doing if I had just had a bit of a slump in traffic perhaps my traffic had plateaued, and I wanted to take things to the next level is to really focus upon creating shareable content. This is something that I definitely have talked about in previous episodes a number of times. Its a recurring theme, and its something that I think we always should be putting some of our attention into creating shareable content. My go-to place to work out what kind of content I should be sharing is to go to BuzzSumo.com. They have a free version; they have a paid version, where you get a lot more analysis, but you can type in your URL in BuzzSumo and do some analysis over the last 12 months as to what your most shared content has been on your site. I would be going there right now as youre listening. Type in your URL and see what has worked in the past, in terms of shareable content. Then you need to ask yourself a series of questions. When youre looking at those posts that have been shared a lot, you need to asking, Could I repurpose that content into a different medium? If Ive had a blog post thats done really well in the past and been shared a lot, could I turn that into a video? Could I turn that into a SlideShare? We talked back in episode 117 to Donna Moritz. She talked a lot about using SlideShare and repurposing content into SlideShares. Could you repurpose it into a podcast? Could you repurpose it into a live video? These types of content. If its been shared a lot as a blogpost and you repurpose it into one of these other types of content, theres a likelihood that repurposing it into a different medium will be shared a lot, too. Thats the first question. As youre looking at whats worked in the past for you, could you repurpose it? Another question to ask is: Could you update it? Could you do a second post with a fresh take on that particular topic for 2017? One of the posts that Im gonna rewrite for ProBlogger is a post that I wrote last year that did really well, which was about the blogging tools and resources that I was using in 2016. That post got shared a lot, so Im gonna update that in the coming weeks for ProBlogger and do a 2017 version. Maybe youve got an old post that was shared a lot that you could do a second post on that particular topic a fresh one. Could you apply the same format for a post that has done well to a different subtopic? We always see on Digital Photography School, when we do a post 21 Mistakes that Wedding Photographers Make, that type of post goes really well with our audience. Could we repurpose that for a different part of our audience? 21 Mistakes that Travel Photographers Make. 21 Mistakes that Portrait Photographers Make. Could you take the same format of something that has worked and do it to a different aspect of your overall topic? Could you turn something that has worked in the past into a series? Could you take a post that you have written and break it down or extend it in some way into a series of posts? If one post has worked really well, maybe tackling that same topic over a number of days or over a number of posts would be good as well. Could you do a roundup post? If a post worked well for you in the past, could you do a search online and find out what other bloggers have said on that particular topic and then do a link post that links to all of the other opinions on that particular topic as well? That gives you an excuse to link back to your post thats done well. You could introduce your post by saying, I wrote this post. Its one of our most popular posts. It made me wonder what other people are saying on that particular topic. Then you could do a link post on that particular topic. Again, going back to those topics that have done well in the past, its likely that if you tackle that same topic again, its gonna do well again. Lastly, maybe you want to approach some other influencers in your space and do an interview with them on that particular topic. Again, if youve done something that has worked in the past, go and find out what other people said. This is just one thing that you could be doing to create shareable content again, by analyzing whats worked for you in the past and trying to create a new piece of content that really builds upon it or takes that format. Of course, you could do exactly the same thing by plugging anyone elses URL into BuzzSumo as well. You could be analyzing other blogs in your niche to see what has worked for them, and then writing content thats on that same topic. If its worked well for them, it would work well for you. Of course, you dont wanna just take exactly what theyve written and rewrite it. You wanna find your own approach to tackling that particular topic. You probably want to give them credit for giving you the idea for writing about that as well. Thats something I would certainly be doing, but how could you extend upon what theyve written? How could you take a different opinion on it? Can you write it in a different voice for example? Create shareable content. I would be digging around on BuzzSumo at your own site and other sites, other blogs in your niche, to be getting some inspiration for what type of content you could be creating. Thats tip number one: Focus upon writing some shareable content. Probably for the next few weeks, I would be setting myself a goal of writing at least one post a week that was written more in the hope that it would be shared. I want all my posts to be shared, but there are certain types of content that do get shared more than others. Focus really upon that type of content over the next week or so, just to boost your traffic to find some new readers for your blog. Tip number two is to focus upon creating something of high, high value a mega post. This is what we call them on Digital Photography School. I should just mention, if you go back to listen to episode 34, Ive got some more tips there on creating shareable content. Just wanna kinda give you some further listening if shareable content is something that you wanna work on. Onto tip number two there was to focus upon creating something of high value and to create what we call on Digital Photography School one of our mega posts. We often will title these The Ultimate Guide to These, for us on Digital Photography School, are long posts. Im gonna give you some examples in our show notes. We did one last year, Our Ultimate Guide to Street Photography. We also did another one, Our Ultimate Guide to Landscape Photography. These posts tackle almost like a we try and write an ultimate guide to a particular topic, which are category topics. We have a category on Digital Photography School on landscape photography. We have a category on street photography. Weve decided we wanna try and tackle each of our categories and write a mega-long post on each of those categories. We find that when we do this when we write these long articles, theyre often five, six, seven thousand words long. They take a lot of time and energy, but they get shared a lot. They also stand as kind of cornerstone pieces of content as well. When we publish these, we usually also create an opt-in off the back of them as well. We publish them as a blog post, and youll see in the examples in our show notes. If you go and have a look at them, at the top of the blog post, we have a line that says something like, This is one of our most comprehensive posts on this topic. If youd like to download a copy to keep and to print, just add your email address in here, and well send it as well. Not only do these posts get shared a lot, but they also get a lot of subscribers for us. They invigorate our email list as well. It takes a lot of work to do this, but it could be a great way to kick start your year and to really boost your subscriber numbers but also to create some new readers for your blog because this content will get shared a lot. You could do other things with this type of content as well. You might turn it into an autoresponder series. You could create a little free course off the back of it as well. All of these things can help to build some momentum. This type of content is also really great for repurposing, so you might wanna create a SlideShare deck about it. You might create some videos out of it. Really base your next few months of work around this type of content. Focus upon creating something of high value that youre gonna give away to people that is gonna get on their radar. Its gonna be shared, and it hopefully will help to build some momentum on your site, to get things firing again for you. Tip number three is to launch a challenge or some kind of an event on your site some sort of an ongoing project that youre going to run. This could take a number of different formats. It might be that you decide to start a series of content on your site, so you might announce to your readers that over the next month, youre gonna do a whole month of content on a particular need that they have. Or it may be that you decide to spread it out a little bit more. Youre gonna do one post a week on that particular topic. I find when I launch a series of content that that gives me energy as a blogger, but it also creates a bit of buzz and creates a bit of excitement and anticipation on my blog amongst my readers, particularly if Im tackling an issue that is a real problem for them or a real aspiration for them. Focus upon choosing a topic for your series thats going to eliminate a pain for your readers (Ive said this many times before) or thats going to help them to make a gain. Focus upon pain and gains. Announce it to your readers. By announcing what is coming up, you are going to create anticipation, and this gives your readers a reason to keep coming back to your blog to check it out. It gives them a reason to subscribe. Anticipation is such an important thing to build into your blog, and it will also give you some energy and accountability as well to create that type of content. It may be that you wanna run a series. Another thing that you might wanna do, in addition to creating a series, is build some kind of challenge into that. Build it into a community challenge. This is where you get your readers not only to read your content over a series, but to do something in response to that. First time I did this was 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a month-long series of content that I did that gave my readers a little bit of homework every day. I find by getting my readers to do something actually amplifies what youre doing with your series. It gets them actually engaging with it. It gets them seeing some results as a result of the content and applying it to their own lives, which has an impact upon them gives them energy. They feel like theyre participating in it, and it becomes an event that they participated in. This can really help to build your blog a lot. The other thing Ill say about this is that sometimes it can be really worthwhile to increase your rate of publishing content during the series or during the challenge. Again, this takes more work, but it builds more momentum. Ive done this a number of times, both on my blogs and also on this podcast, where I just ramp the content levels up for a defined period of time. It may be a whole month, like 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. Or you might remember, if youre a longer term listener of this podcast, last year, I did a whole week helping my readers to find their blogging groove. It was the Find Your Blogging Groove Challenge, where I did a week of daily shows. I went from two times a week to daily shows, and I gave my readers a challenge every day a little bit of teaching and a challenge. That really lifted our download numbers incredibly over that particular week and kick started things, and things continued to be higher in the weeks after that, when I returned to my normal publishing frequency. Is there some kind of series that you can do some sort of challenge you can do? Another quick example it doesnt have to be on your blog that you do it. It could be on social media. Vanessa, my wife her blog Style and Shenanigans from time to time, two or three times a year, shell do a style challenge with her readers, where everyday she challenges them to wear a certain color or a certain style of clothes and to post their photos on Instagram. Whilst that doesnt drive direct traffic back to her blog, although she does have some blog posts associated with the challenge, it builds energy. It builds momentum. It builds some excitement. It builds engagement with her readers. That has ongoing benefits for her site. It doesnt have to be on your blog. I do think if you are wanting to drive traffic, you probably want to build something into your blog, but a lot of it could happen on social media as well. These things Ive been talking about so far is really about trying to create content on your blog thats gonna build momentum, build engagement, build excitement on your blog, and hopefully build some traffic as well. But of course, driving traffic to your blog there are other things you can do. One of the other things Id suggest that you think about doing, if you have had a bit of a slump in traffic, is to do a big push in terms of creating guest content in other places on the internet. Traditionally, bloggers would call this writing guest posts on other blogs. Thats certainly something that you could consider doing. If you have relationships with other bloggers and you can see opportunities to create blog posts for their blogs, thats certainly something you can do. Now, this isnt always achievable for all of us, because not all of us have the profile to get featured on another blog, but there are other ways that you can create some guest content on your blog. If you go back and listen to episode 37 of the ProBlogger podcast, I do a whole episode on how to create guest content in other places. For example, you could be going into Facebook groups that are relevant to your particular blog and be answering questions there and to be writing tips, tutorials, and posts in those Facebook groups. Now, its not about trying to get people, just spamming your links into these Facebook groups. You dont wanna do that. Its gonna get you kicked out of the group, but if you are prolifically useful in that group, people are gonna wanna know who you are. That will drive some traffic back to your site once they begin to investigate that. If creating guest content is something that you wanna learn more about, you might wanna go back and listen to episode 37. Just find us in iTunes, if youre listening there or if you go to ProBlogger.com/podcast/37. Also check out 36 as well because I do an episode there about building your profile and building traffic through commenting on other blogs. Thats kind of related to this. You could be leaving such useful comments and such detailed comments, such generous comments on other peoples blogs that that could be almost considered creating content on their blogs, so listen to 36 and 37. Its really about trying to identify where are your potential readers hanging out and how can I build some value in those places, either through leaving comments, writing content, or being useful in those types of communities. Thats tip number four. Do a big push on creating guest content. Number five tip and Ive only got two more to go is to focus upon warming up your email list or warming up your other social media profiles. Sometimes we have a slump in traffic because our email list, our email marketing, or our social media marketing has become cold, either because we havent been doing it or because we havent been doing it effectively. One of the things that you might want to think about is how can you warm up the relationships that you already have with your existing readers? If you have an email list, youve got people who have said to you, Please email me. If you havent been emailing them or you havent been emailing them in a useful way, there are some ways to warm up that relationship again. One, it could be simply sending them an email for the first email for the year. Maybe youve had a few weeks off from your email. Send them an email. Include in that email something useful, something thats gonna enhance their lives in some way, something thats gonna help eliminate a pain or help them to make a gain in some way. It may be linking to some content that youve written on those particular topics. It may be answering some frequently asked questions that you get. I dont know what it will be for your audience, but send them an email. The same on your social media. Maybe youve just kind of been letting social media slide over the holidays. Maybe its about re-engaging that. One of the things Ive been doing to warm up my email lists a bit has been to go back to my autoresponders. If youve got an email list, youre probably using a service like Aweber, MailChimp. Theres a number of them out there. Most of them have some kind of an autoresponder system. This is where you set up a sequence of emails. I talk a lot about this in episode 70 of this particular podcast. One of the things Ive been doing over the last few weeks is to really give my autoresponders a refresh because some of them had become a little bit dated. On Digital Photography School, I actually have scrapped my autoresponder series, and Im completely building it from the ground up. One of the things that Im doing in that sequence is to highlight and to refresh some of the older content that weve got on the site. We get a lot of new subscribers every day, and they havent seen that old stuff on our site. So Im building an autoresponder sequence thats all about showing them whats in our archives. Im doing a theme-based email, so in that autoresponder series, I now have an email that has Heres our best tips for beginner photographers, Heres our best tips for portrait photography, Heres our best tips for landscape photography. I was not selling anything in these emails. Its purely about trying to solve problems and to help our readers make gains in certain areas. Maybe you wanna go back to your autoresponder series and refresh it, or maybe if you havent got one, start one. It is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site. Its one of those things that you can set up once, and it will continue to run over time. Go and listen to episode 70, if you wanna learn more about that. The same thing could be true within this tip to warm up your social media accounts as well. It may be that you wanna do some analysis of what youve been doing on your Facebook page, for example. Whats been working? What hasnt been working? Scrap some of those things that havent been working and try some new strategies on that. The last thing that I wanna suggest that you do is might sound a little bit strange, but I want you to pick a fight. Pick a fight. Name something big that you wanna have a big impact on as a community, and announce that to your readers something that you wanna attack. Now Ive talked about this in previous episodes as well. The idea here is not to pick a fight with a person, another blogger, or a celebrity, or to be controversial just to get attention, but rather pick something that youre gonna be passionate about over the coming months and that something you wanna take a stand on, on your blog something that your readers can rally around. It may be tied to the series of posts that you wanna do or that challenge that you wanna run with your audience, but I think sometimes when you show what youre passionate about to your readers, that can build real energy with your readers, particularly if you give them some way to join in on that. For example, I was talking to one blogger from Canada recently, who blogs on the topic of fashion for mums, and she has decided that one of her big themes for the next 12 months will be around the topic of body image. Shes going to write a regular post every month that helps her readers to think about body image and help them think more healthily about that and help them to celebrate who they are as women. Shes gonna do this once a month, and shes gonna take a different aspect of that topic. I really think that by tackling that topic thats her fight for the year that I suspect that those posts will really resonate with her audience. Shes going to build some challenges into that as well. Fights can be very positive. We think of the word fight as a negative thing, but actually, giving your readers something to rally around, something to believe in, some sort of vision to move towards can really build momentum on your site. Maybe theres something within your topic that you can take a stand on. Again, this might be content-related, but it could just be a single post that you write on a particular topic. But it could also be something that really kick starts your year, that you can return to again and again over time. Ive gone through six things there. Im sure theres a lot more that could be said on the topic. Firstly, it was: focus upon creating some shareable content. Build that into your weekly rhythm. Number two, focus upon creating something of high value, a mega-post, an ultimate guide to a topic something that is gonna be so big and so impressive to your readers that theyll just wanna share it and something that you could also use to get some more subscribers by turning it into some sort of a free giveaway with your audience. Number three was to launch a project or a challenge, some kind of an ongoing series of content, particularly if its got some sort of a challenge and way for your readers to engage. You may actually wanna build a Facebook group around that or something like that, too. Number four is to do a big push on creating some guest content, whether its guest posts, engaging in forums, engaging in Facebook groups. Create something of high value off your blog in someone elses space. Number five: focus upon warming up the relationships that you already have with your current readers through email or through social media. Lastly, pick a fight. Pick something that you are passionate about, and write about that. Give your readers something to rally around, something to join in on in some way thats gonna make a difference to them, but also the world that we live in, in some way because people love to join in on making a difference. These six things that I reckon could just be the keys to boosting some traffic on your site, but more importantly than that, giving your site a boost of energy and creating some momentum and anticipation on your site as well. If youve got something else that youve been working on over the first few weeks and months of 2017 or something thats got you through a slump in traffic and has helped to kick start your blog, I would love to hear about it over on ProBlogger.com/podcast/177, where you can find todays show notes, a full transcription, and also find all those further reading or further listening that Ive mentioned in this particular episode. Thanks so much for listening. Look forward to chatting with you next week in episode 178! How did you go with todays episode? Enjoy this podcast? Sign up to our ProBloggerPLUS newsletter to get notified of all new tutorials and podcasts below. Click Here to Subscribe to ProBloggerPLUS for Free The post 177: How to Build Traffic and Momentum on Your Blog After a Blogging Slump appeared first on ProBlogger Podcast.
All Editors are Not the Same, so Which do You Need?
A question that frequently comes up in writing and blogging groups Im part of is: anyone know a good editor? This is usually followed by comments of I used this guy once but it was a frustrating process, or mine was ok, but Im not sure Id recommend them. Ive.more The post All Editors are Not the Same, so Which do You Need? appeared first on ProBlogger.
Where Will Your Great Ideas Come From?
By ProBlogger expert Ellen Jackson of Potential Psychology. I have big plans for 2017, blog-wise and business-wise. I bet you do too. My word for this year is ‘bigger.’ I’m going to think bigger, to play bigger. After a year of hard work and incremental improvement it’s time for a.more The post Where Will Your Great Ideas Come From? appeared first on ProBlogger.
A System for Easily Publishing Consistently Great Content A Pamela Wilson Series
This five-part series is a guest contribution from Pamela Wilson of Big Brand System. Content marketing works — you know that. It’s one big reason you read ProBlogger! You like the content here and you want to learn more about how to create it yourself. Its all well and good.more The post A System for Easily Publishing Consistently Great Content – A Pamela Wilson Series appeared first on ProBlogger.
Blogging in 2017: How to Disrupt and Get Noticed
This is a guest contribution from Sam Warren of Rankpay Ive got good news and bad news. The bad news is this: that boring content youre probably peddling? Its not worth it anymore. It has its place, but its not going to take you to that next level. Dont get.more The post Blogging in 2017: How to Disrupt and Get Noticed appeared first on ProBlogger.
Reading Roundup: Whats New in Blogging Lately?
And just like that, January 2017 is almost over. Did you make the most of the first month of the year and the momentum that brings? Were you still on vacation? Did you have to do the school holidays juggle (it’s still summer holidays in Australia for many schools!)? Let’s.more The post Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately? appeared first on ProBlogger.
Day Two: How to Fill in the Details of Your Winning Piece of Content
This is part three in a series on Content Marketing Strategies from Pamela Wilson of Big Brand System. If youre a coffee or tea drinker, Day 2 might be a good day to drink an extra cup. Youre going to write a lot today, so do whatever it takes to.more The post Day Two: How to Fill in the Details of Your Winning Piece of Content appeared first on ProBlogger.
How to Come up With More Than Enough (Great) Ideas for Your Blog
Do you ever sit staring at your computer screen, wondering what the heck youre going to post about? Maybe you scramble around for an idea any idea! and then rush into it. Or maybe you give up, and you dont write a post at all. Coming up with.more The post How to Come up With More Than Enough (Great) Ideas for Your Blog appeared first on ProBlogger.
179: How to Lower the Bounce Rate on Your Blog
11 Techniques for Lowering the Bounce Rate on Your Blog In todays lesson I want to talk about a statistic or metric that is in Google analytics that I see bloggers talking about a lot – that of bounce rate. Just today I was asked twice about bounce rate and how to get it lower. So in this episode, I thought Id tackle the topic and will talk briefly about what bounce rate is, about why I see many bloggers not really interpreting it in a helpful way and for the bulk of the episode I want to give you 11 things you can do to lower bounce rate on your blog. Lastly Im going to suggest some homework that you might want to do! So if you if youre not sure what bounce rate is or you look at the stat in your Google Analytics and want to know how to get it lower – this episode is just for you! Note: you can find this episode (PB179) here on iTunes if you’d like to listen to it there. Further Resources on How to Lower the Bounce Rate on Your Blog Google Analytics Plugin to Open External Links in a New Window ProBlogger Podcast Listeners Group on Facebook Further Reading on Removing Dates from Blogs ProBlogger Start Here Page Digital Photography School Start Here Page dPS Photography for Beginners Sneeze Page 21 Settings, Techniques and Rules all New Camera Owners Should Know (a sneeze post) How to Turn Surfers into Blog Readers by Building a Sticky Blog Getting Blog Readers to Subscribe, Follow and Connect How to Turn First Time Visitors Into Interested Readers of Your Blog (Portal Strategy) Series of Blog Posts vs Long Blog Posts Which is Better? How to Get People to Comment on Your Blog Posts How to Build a Culture of Community on Your Blog Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view Welcome to episode 179 of the ProBlogger podcast! My names Darren Rowse, and Im the blogger behind ProBlogger.com, which is a blog, a podcast, event, job board, and series of eBooks all designed to help you as a blogger to start an amazing blog to create lifechanging content for your readers and to hopefully make a bit of an income for yourself. You can learn more about ProBlogger over at ProBlogger.com. Now today, Im feeling a little bit strange. Listen to this. Can you hear it? Theres nothing. My house is so quiet today because my youngest son started school this week. Yes, all three of my boys are at school at last. Also its been very exciting to see him get in his uniform and waddle off to school with a massive bag on his back. The house is just so quiet. I think its gonna take a little time to get used to, but anyway, one of the good things about a quiet house is that I can record this podcast pretty much anytime of the day. I dont have to set him up with a movie or anything like that or wait till he goes off to preschool. Without further ado, lets get into todays lesson. In todays lesson, what I want to talk about is a statistic or a metric that you can find in your Google Analytics account. Its one that I see a lot of bloggers talking about. Its the statistic or the metric bounce rate your bounce rate. Thats what I wanna talk about today. Even just today, I was asked twice in Facebook groups about bounce rate and how to get it lower, so I thought in this episode, Id tackle the topic. Well talk briefly about what a bounce rate is, for those of you whove never heard that term before or maybe youve seen it in your Google Analytics and wondered what it was. I wanna talk a little bit about why I think some bloggers arent really interpreting bounce rate in a helpful way. For the bulk of this episode, I wanna give you eleven different things you can do to get your bounce rate lower and hopefully improve your blog. The last thing I wanna do is suggest a little bit of homework that you might wanna do to lower your bounce rate. I wanna challenge you to pick one of the things we talk about today to lower yours. If you are someone who doesnt know what bounce rate is or you have been looking at it in your Google Analytics and wondering how to get it lower, this episode is for you. There is going to be quite a bit of further reading and some suggested further listening today, so you might wanna check out the show notes over at ProBlogger.com/podcast/179, where you can also get a full transcript of todays show. Lets get into it. Today I was asked by two different bloggers about bounce rate. [Riva 0:02:44] asked, What are some ways to reduce your bounce rate? Riva says, Im adding other posts at the end of my post for people to click through to. Ive written long form and short form posts. Ive got a Start Here and About page, but I cant get my bounce rate below 70%. Then Paul asks, Whats an acceptable bounce rate for a blog? Mine is 80%. Is that too high? What can I do to lower it? Bounce rate something thats on the mind of at least two of our readers and I know a little bit more because I just asked in our Facebook group (the ProBlogger Listeners Facebook group) I asked the question, What statistic do you watch the most? About a quarter of the people whove responded so far have mentioned bounce rate. Its something thats on your mind. Lets quickly define it, and then get onto some tips for lowering it. Firstly, definitions. Bounce rate is a metric in your Google Analytics account that reports the percentage of people, who visit your site and who leave your site from that first page that they arrive on. They bounce off your site. They come to a page, and then they leave straight away without clicking around your site. To find this statistic, its very easy. Simply log into your Google Analytics account. If you dont have Google Analytics, please add it, because its an industry standard. Its amazingly powerful, and its completely free. Once youve got it set up on your blog if youve got questions about that, ask in the Facebook group, well be able to help you through that. Log into your Google Analytics account. When you are on the first page once youre looking at your blog stats, youll see the Audience Overview. Youll see a little chart titled Bounce Rate, and it will have a percentage number underneath it. Im looking at mine right now for Digital Photography School, and the number is the 78.25%. Thats an average of the last month of people who bounced away from my site, which sounds pretty hot. 78.25% are arriving on my site, and theyre leaving straight away. Its very difficult to compare my bounce rate to yours, and well talk a little bit about why that might be in a moment. But you will see that number for yours. That means 78.25% of people are arriving on my blog, and theyre leaving without viewing any more than the single page they arrive on. If you click on that little chart in Google Analytics, it will open up the last month of your bounce rate or whatever period that youve got the dates in for. Now most blogs dont really see a great variation from day to day in their bounce rate. Theyre usually a pretty flat line. Mine changes slightly when we send out our email. Ill talk a little bit about that in a moment, but most blogs will have a very steady line when they click on that particular chart. Its pretty even over time. In general, when youre interpreting that number, a high number if youve got 99%, it means a lot of people are leaving your blog without surfing around. If its a low number, it means a lot of people are getting to your site and then clicking around your site. In general, most people would say a high number is a bad sign and a lower number is a good sign. But there are some times, where thats not the case. Well talk about those in a minute. A low number means less people are bouncing away from your site. The most common question I get asked when it comes to bounce rate is the one you heard before, How do I get it lower? or like Paul asked, Whats an acceptable rate? Im gonna talk a little bit about how to get it lower in a minute, but theres a few things I do wanna say about bounce rates. This comes into how to interpret that number. First thing, there are times when a lower bounce rate isnt a good thing. You might think thats weird, but there are times, where the goal of a page on your site or maybe even your whole site is to get your readers to do something other than click around your site. For example, if you have a site thats all about promoting affiliate products, you probably want to send people away from your site. You might have a post on your site that you actually want a bounce rate thats really high. You want people to be bouncing straight off your site, because that means theyre going to visit the affiliate site. That might be one case. It may be that you want people to call your business. If youve got a business, your blog is about your business, and ultimately, your goal is to get people to pick up the phone and call you, then a high bounce rate could actually be a sign that thats a good thing. Theyre getting to your site, and theyre picking up the phone and calling you. It may be that youre trying to sell something on a site like Amazon or eBay, so you want to send people away from your site. It may be that youre capturing a lead through a tool that doesnt require another page load on your site. Any of these things can actually mean your bounce rate is higher, but it can be a good thing. I wanted to put that out there, so its not always something that you want to lower if youre trying to achieve one of those things. But most of us are trying to lower our bounce rate. Second thing I wanna just say before I get into some techniques for lowering your bounce rate is that I see a lot of bloggers looking at their sites overall bounce rate. The number I gave you before is 78.25% of people who arrive on Digital Photography School are bouncing away. Thats interesting, but I much prefer to look at the bounce rate of individual pages on my blog. Whilst, yes, lowering my overall number might be a good thing, Im much more interested in lowering the number on individual pages. Let me give you a few examples. On ProBlogger, as I look at my Google Analytics account, I can see on the front page of ProBlogger, over the last month, our bounce rate is 61%. Thats lower than our site average. I think our site average there is similar to DPS. Its normally in the seventies, but on the front page is 61. That makes sense. When people arrive on the front page of ProBlogger, theres lots of options there for them to click around the site. Theyre probably looking at the front page, because theyre trying to work out what the site is and what the most recent stuff is, and so it makes sense that that number is lower. If you look at other pages on ProBlogger, you might look at our Start Here page. The bounce rate on that is 54%. Thats fantastic. Again, that page is purely designed to direct people to different parts of the site. On the job board on ProBlogger this is where we list jobs for bloggers the bounce rate is 35%, and thats great because it means people are clicking on individual jobs on that job board. You can see there, theres an incredible variance. Whilst the overall bounce rate for ProBlogger as a whole is 72%, theres pages that are as low as 35%. Theres incredible variance there. I think looking at your overall number is interesting, but looking at individual pages and individual posts on your site is much more interesting. On the converse side, Ive showed you there some low bounce rates. Theres posts on ProBlogger that have very high ones. Theres a post I was just looking at before. I wrote it in 2012. Its still getting search traffic every day, but the bounce rate on that individual post is 91%. Thats because the content on it is old. People are arriving on it and seeing the date 2012, and theyre seeing information that perhaps isnt as relevant for them and theyre bouncing away at a higher rate. Actually digging into your stats and looking at the bounce rate of individual pages, I think is so much more productive and beneficial. A better strategy for looking at your overall is to really dig into those. I really would encourage you to do that in your Google Analytics. You may even just stop this podcast right now and get into Google Analytics. Look at your most visited pages, your front page of your blog, and the key pages in your navigation, the most visited blog posts, pages like sales pages or landing pages for your email lists all of these pages its really interesting to see what the bounce rate is, and its much more worthwhile to spend your time decreasing the bounce rate on individual pages than overall in some ways. Thats another thing I wanna say about bounce rate. The last thing Ill say before I get into some techniques for lowering bounce rates is that bounce rate varies depending upon the source of your traffic. Again, Im gonna flip back to Digital Photography School. My Google Analytics there just looking at that now, and I can see that traffic that comes from Google bounces away from Digital Photography School at 77%, whereas traffic coming from social media is bouncing away at 81%. Then traffic coming in from email is bouncing away at 55%. I could see the incredible variance in the types of traffic and the sources of the traffic, so I think it can be really useful to dig into that. Im particularly interested in looking at Google traffic because that makes up the bulk of the traffic on my site. Over 50% of my traffic comes in from Google, and most of the people arriving in from Google are first-time visitors as well. Im looking at really lowering that. Email Im not really as interested in lowering that. Its already pretty low, and thats because we send out emails with multiple links in them. Someone opening our email might see 10 of our latest posts on the site, and so theyll click on through to a few of those. Thats why that number is 55%, but Im not really interested in lowering that much more because those people are already subscribed. People who are coming in from Google theyre first-time visitors. I wanna get that number down because I know if I can get people visiting more pages on their first view, theyre more likely to subscribe. Dig into your Google Analytics. Look at the bounce rate for individual pages on your site and also the different sources of traffic. Youll get much more information about your bounce rate if you dig deeper. I made those disclaimers and those general comments about bounce rate. Let me dig into some strategies for getting the bounce rate on your site down, and of course keeping in mind that sometimes, in a few instances, you dont wanna get it down because you wanna get it higher. You want people to take action off your site, but lets talk about getting your bounce rate down because thats what most of us are interested in doing on our site on the individual pages. I wanna go through 11 things, and Ill kind of whip through them as fast as I can. Firstly, the first thing you can do to get your bounce rate down is to make a great first impression when people arrive at your site. Ive said this many times in the past. People decide in the first few seconds when theyre on your site as to whether youre a credible site, whether youre relevant to them, and whether youre worth reading. Theyre making those judgments based upon the design of your site, the branding of your site, whether youre clearly communicating the benefits or topic of your site, whether youre making a promise that excites them. Things like your design, your branding, your tagline these things can help to create a great first impression. They will make people look a little bit deeper into your site. If they see a beautifully designed site thats well-branded and that clearly communicates a benefit for them reading, theyre much more likely to click around on your site and see whether youve got something worthwhile for them. Another thing that you can do to create a positive first impression is to work on social proof. Again, this makes people look twice if youve got a user testimony or a testimony from someone else whos famous or someone who said something nice about your site include that. If youve got a lot of social media followers or subscribers, if you put that number up and show people there are other people on your site, if youve been quoted in mainstream media and you can use the logo of the New York Times or the Washington Post or whatever it might be these things all just create these little signals for first-time visitors to your site that perhaps your site is a legitimate site. Perhaps youre credible. Perhaps youve got something worthwhile to them. Social proof can also help. Another thing that is a little bit controversial, but Im gonna go there, is: I think removing the dates on your blog posts can be one thing that may make a good impression upon people, particularly when youve got a lot of very old content on your site thats evergreen. On Digital Photography School, we have posts that I wrote back in 2006, 2007, which are still relevant for today. Ive got a post I just shared it on Facebook earlier today on shutter speed and what shutter speed is. Its a useful post, but it was written in 2007. If I have the date on that post, people will look at it and go, Ugh. This is old. Theyll make a judgment based upon when it was written even though it still is relevant today as it was back in 2007. On Digital Photography School, I dont have dates on my site. That removes a little barrier. It creates a little bit more of a positive impression. If your site is not about evergreen content, theres probably good reason to keep dates on your site, but if youve got a lot of evergreen content, removing dates might be one thing that can help to make a more positive impression. I actually noticed when I took dates off Digital Photography School, my bounce rate actually got lower. That was a little test that I did. Number one: make a great first impression. Number two: make your site as easy to use as possible. People are much more likely to stay in the site and click around on your site if its easy to do that. Number one: make sure your site loads fast. If you have a very slow loading site, people are going to get frustrated using it. Theyre not gonna wanna click another link on your site because its gonna take another 30 seconds to open up. Make your load time as fast as you can. Make it easy to read. You might wanna listen to episode 176, where I talked about scan-able content, using good font sizes and line spacing, choosing a readable font, having clear navigation, making your blog mobile responsive, so that people dont see a tiny, minute version of your site, and they just dont know what to click on your site. Minimize interruptions. Too many pop-ups or too much clutter on the site it just gets too overwhelming for people. You want a nice, clean site that loads fast, thats easy to read on a mobile. These things make it easier for people to stay on your site. They will reduce the bounce rates. It may be that you need to think about a redesign for your site to fix up some of those things, if you think they might be having an impact. One of the things we do when we do a redesign is really watch very carefully the bounce rate statistic across the whole site, but also on individual pages. Number three thing you can do to reduce bounce rate is to really focus very hard on high quality content. Perhaps this is the best thing that you can do because if people arrive on your site and they read something or they watched something, and they experienced something that changes their life in some way thats high quality content, theyre much more likely to click around. If youve got a well-written article thats articulate, if you are generous with your readers, if you have something that enhances their life in some way theyre gonna click around. Thats ultimately, I think, the best thing that you can do. Invest a lot of time into the content. Of course, that improves your blog in many other ways, but it will improve the bounce rate as well. Number four: call people to connect with you in some way. One of your goals on most parts of your blog or to get people to make an ongoing connection with you, you want them to maybe subscribe to your email list, connect with your social media, make a strong clear call to action in multiple parts of your blog to connect with you. This will help people to keep coming back to your site, which ultimately it may not change your bounce rate in the moment, in that first visit, but it will over time. We see return visitors to Digital Photography School. People who are coming back every day are actually clicking around at a much higher rate than first-time visitors. Thats very clear in all of the blogs that Ive ever been involved with. You wanna get people engaged, and the best way to get people engaged with you is to get them to subscribe in some way to connect with you in some way. Ive got a lot more advice on that particular topic of getting people to connect with you, getting people to subscribe with you in episode 115. Ill link to that in the show notes. Any point of connection that you can get is a really great way of getting an ongoing lower bounce rate. Number five. This is something that is gonna take a little bit of work to do, but its one of the best things that I did on ProBlogger over the last 18 months. Weve actually just rolled it out over on Digital Photography School. In our redesign of ProBlogger last year, we created, for the first time, portals. If you havent seen them before, just go to the front page of ProBlogger.com and scroll down, and youll see there that weve got eight icons on that page. Weve also got those icons on every page on the blog as well in the sidebar. The title above it says I need help with, and then underneath that theres eight things. Basically, what each of those icons links to is what we call one of our portals. Youll see theres a portal for how to start a blog. Youll see theres a portal for creating great content. Youll find a portal for finding readers for your blog. We researched our readers to find out what their biggest needs were, and we identified these eight things that our readers come looking for information on, on ProBlogger. Then we developed a portal page for each of those things. I think theres actually seven of them. One of them links to our job board as well. We created these portals. If you go and click on one of those portals, youll find out that they contain a video greeting, so Im trying to make a connection there. Thats a personal video. Its me talking about my need in that particular issue. Then underneath the video or next to the video, theres a call to subscribe. Theres lots of information. Its not just our latest posts. Its not like a category page, where we just show our latest, most recent content on that particular topic. We actually have curated our best content on that. Underneath the video, youll see there six or eight different posts that weve hand-selected on that particular topic of finding readers or starting a blog. Then underneath that, we showcase our latest content. You can find some fresh stuff, but youll also find our best stuff as well. The portals have really, really helped our bounce rate a lot. With the portal, the main reason we do it is to get people to the right content on our site within a click or two of them arriving on our site. Our portal pages have a bounce rate as low as 40%. I just looked at them all, and I think the lowest one was 39%. Now I do talk again more about our portals and how we developed them in episode 114, if thats something interesting to you. Really think about that as our way to get people to the best content and to get people accessing your archives. This is one of the things that we realized in ProBlogger. Weve got thousands of posts in our archives. Many of them are really useful today, but people just werent finding them because they had to dig too hard so were surfacing that best content as well. Number six thing that I wanna talk about is similar to the portals, and that is our new Start Here page. Having a Start Here page again, I mentioned the statistic before. Its one of the lower bounce rates on our site at ProBlogger. A Start Here page is a great way of highlighting some of your best content and getting people connected with you. Its similar to our portals in design and bounce rate as well. Its really prominent in our navigation, so if you go to any page on ProBlogger, the first item in the nav bar is the Start Here bar. Its really targeting, particularly those first-time viewers and particularly the Google readers anyone arriving in from Google, whos arriving on ProBlogger for the first time and Digital Photography School now is hopefully gonna see that link in our navigation. If you go and look at that page, again, theres lots of good content. It introduces the idea of the portals, and it tries to get that connection with people. Think about how you could do it. You might wanna do an About page. You might find something else. A Story page, Learn About Me as a Blogger those type of pages may actually help to achieve those goals as well for you. Tip number seven this is really a simple one to do is to make external links on your blog open in a new tab or a new window. If you are linking on your blog to another website in a blog post, one of the simplest things that you can do so that you dont lose that reader is to make sure it opens in a new window or a new tab. This means that if someone clicks your external link, they dont leave your site. Theres just a new tab open there. It doesnt mean that they have to hit the back button to get back to your site, because theyve now got two tabs open one with the new site and one with yours. That keeps people on your site longer and increases the chances of them clicking another link on your site. Its very simple to do this today. You dont even need to really learn HTML. If youre using WordPress, theres a checkbox every time you add a link. You can click that checkbox. Its a Open in new tab checkbox, and it will add that relevant HTML. Theres also WordPress plugins. Ill link to them in the show notes that will do this for you automatically. Thats just one of the simplest things that you can do. It really does work to reduce the bounce rate on your site. Again, number eight Ive only got eleven, so were getting towards the end here. Number eight this is a very simple thing to do particularly for those of you whove got blogs that have been around for a while, you might have a lot of archives. As I said before, a lot of those posts in your archives dont get seen very much. Another way to highlight some of that older content is to simply add links to the new posts on your site. One of the best things that you can do is as youre writing your next blog post, just challenge yourself to link to at least three other posts on your site as you write that post. As you mention topics in your new posts, that youve written about before in greater depth or things that relate, just link to them. Just add those. It needs to be something that you just get into the habit of doing in the middle of your posts. As youre writing, be adding links. Also, you can add further reading at the end some suggested reading. Thats a great place to add some other links as well because people have just finished reading something from you
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