Thursday, March 18, 2010
Better Blogging Chronicles - 2
In - Better Blogging Chronicles - 1 - I promised more discussion of the professional bloggers I've been researching.
The first gurus I came across, wrote the above book. I plopped down the $15 for it and read it last night (only 200 light pages).
And I also read Daniel Scocco's free ebook - Make Money Blogging.
And I discovered Yaro Starak's blog and perused much of his free online content. (He charges wannabes $600 for blog coaching!)
I must say that while I know plenty about blogging as a hobby, in a few short days I've learned that I knew little about blogging as a business.
I had just never before looked at my blog as a commercial enterprise before.
It turns out, that a lot of the stuff I do has very little potential in terms of monetization. The bloggers who make money, in contradistinction to moi, are *narrowly focused*. And they generally choose subjects that are inherently very commercial like cars, cameras, trading systems, techno-gadgets, etc. There is almost nothing I can do with say a snippet of a Boston Globe article and an insightful, witty take on it. There's almost nothing I can do with anecdotal posts which rip the Morons I come into contact with. (Of course, the reason I rip them is *therapeutic*!)
Also, as far as Google Adwords go, mostly only dumb, docile people click on them - that's the polar opposite of my intended readership. Michael Davey even confirmed this for me. He said that his trading blog doesn't have nearly the *ad hit rate* that his original blog - Wordlab - does.
But the book that I read last night also gave me some encouragement. It said a blogger had to be original, somewhat prolific, write great blog post titles, skillfully use pictures, etc.
All that I've got down pat. Thank you.
But I have to make my posts, my content, more *searchable*. I need to stake out some territory (demarcated by *keywords*), focus on it, and steadily climb the search results if I want to increase my blog hits (not the same as *readership*).
By jumping around from trading to movies to homeschooling to eco-pagans to golf, I am spreading my keywords around too thin, apparently. The search engines get confused about my *authority* and unfairly knock me down in results pages. So again, the advice from the *monetizers* is to stick with one subject.
Now I happen to think that's one of the problems with our Moronic society - the elevation of specialists and the dearth of genuine polymaths. But let's move on.
Another thing I learned from these guys, is that to climb in the search rankings I have to re-title and re-focus my content. It's good that I write posts full of practical information, like posts about how I'm teaching my kids. But these experts would have me frame the content differently. They have me title it, e.g., "How To Create A Math Genius", "How To Teach A Toddler To Read", or "How To Teach Long Division".
Because people routinely search for precisely "how to raise a math genius" and the like!
You see, as a blog that desires more traffic, I have to get in front of people by answering SPECIFIC QUESTIONS that they may Google. These experts bleated this over and over again: good content is important, but the content has to USEFUL and DESIRED to drive blog traffic. This all seems like commonsense, and it is. But, again, I'd never before looked at my blog this way. My traffic has been steadily rising since I started so I was just content with that.
Click the following graphic to enlarge. It's some *Google Webmaster Tool*:
Those are my *impressions* and *clickthroughs* from the past week. Sure I look at total hits and occasionally where they come from. But never before have I looked at an analytical tool such as the one above.
Notice the glaring absence of the term *homeschooling*!
According to Google, I have no *authority* on the subject.
This I'll have to set about fixing.
Better Blogging Chronicles - 1
Better Blogging Chronicles - 3 - Aesthetics