Quality Website Traffic

May 22, 2008

The two most common questions business owners ask about the internet are:

1. How do I get more traffic to my site?
2. How do I get more people on my list?

Very few of them ask a much more specific question…”How do I get quality buyers to my site and on my list?”

Which list is more valuable to you: a list of 10,000 untargeted subscribers or 500 buyers of one of your products?
I know which one I’d pick.

If you want a successful promotion, here are 3 key elements:

1. Audience
2. Offer
3. Copy

And while I’ve spent a lot of time lately talking about 3, the copywriting, most experts would agree it’s the least important of those 3. The audience for your offer is the most important element. A great offer to the right audience with poor copy will outproduce world class copy to the wrong audience. Of course, it’s best when you get all 3 lined up.

So let’s talk about the audience a little.

Rule #1: You always find a market for a product before you create the product.
Rule #2: You make sure the audience is easy to target for your advertising.

Here are some of the ways my sites generate traffic in order of how high quality the traffic is.

#1 – Your Own List

This is the best type of traffic to send to your site. Your customer lists (people who have given you money at some time) are the most valuable lists followed by those who’ve subscribed to your free lists to hear regular information from you. That’s why I focus so much on building the list here. Notice the name and email address box to the top right of the blog. If this is one of your first three visits, you also see a subscribe box at the top of every single post. If you go to any of my sales pages, you’re likely to see a popover box asking for your name and email. Do you get the hint here? My whole course on Email Mastery deals just with building your list and marketing to that list.

#2 – JV Partners

This is the second best type of visitor. It’s also the best way to build your list #1 (but that’s a topic for another post). Who already has your audience in the market? How can you make them an offer they can’t refuse? Sometimes they’re most interested in who can pay them the most. Other times it’s because they want to give their customers a special deal. For example on a recent product offer, I let 5 JV partners send out an email to their list during my preliminary special before the price went up.

Did they partner so they could get the most money? Not from the way I know them. They partnered because they knew the product was good and wanted their subscribers to have a chance at the special.

#3 – Offline Leads

Offline lead generation hasn’t been a majority priority lately, but the leads you generate are excellent. This would include speaking at seminars (some of the best customers), renting lists to mail postcards to, advertising in magazines, etc. You’re going to spend more for leads you generate off the Internet (either in money or time), but you can expand into a lot more advertising here.

#4 – Affiliates

Often I setup my JV partners as affiliates (when they’re promoting a product), but now I’m talking about more general affiliates. I go after the JV partners because they have lists or they have access to a large audience in another way (blogs for example). If you have an open affiliate program you also have affiliates you don’t know who sign up and promote the product. As a blog reader, you can signup for my affiliate program here…

I’ve had times where one of my JV partners promoted, and then customers from their list signed up as affiliates to promote as well. It takes on a little bit of a viral effect. As affiliates keep promoting, others find out about the offer and promote as well.

#5 – Bloggers

While some bloggers may be joint venture partners at times (#2), the majority of them simply link over when you provide great content they feel their audience would learn from. These links are some of the best incoming links you can get, especially from high traffic blogs. Write great content and link to other blogs. Many of those incoming links will build naturally from these other bloggers. And they generate some good quality traffic.

#6 – Search Engines

The traffic coming here from the search engines has been increasing every single month. You write for your human audience first, but you also consider the search engines. You’ve probably noticed some of my post titles are targeting search engine phrases. Because of the nature of blogs, you’re able to generate incoming links easier and get those top rankings.

Here’s an interesting note. It’s not any single search phrase that drives a majority of search engine traffic. The majority of my search engine traffic comes from a large variety of over 1,000 search terms that each send a small number of visitors (sometimes only 1 or 2). For the last 30 days, Google Analytics reports 1,587 different search phrases were used.

#7 – PPC

Targeted pay-per-click advertising is very effective (Google, Yahoo, and MSN). The key here is the landing page. I found it wasn’t profitable to send PPC visitors directly to any page on this blog (even one specifically created for them). There are just too many pages and links around. My favorite option is to go with a squeeze page to get he email address or a low cost product offer (under $20) to get them to become buyers. Be careful here and make your advertising very targeted.

#8 – Content Submission

I submit articles, press releases, etc. Many people write guest blog posts for others as well. All of this is a form of content submission. You produce content in exchange for traffic. This method can generate a lot of very targeted traffic for you, but you’ll notice I didn’t refer to it as Free. That content takes time to create or you need team members to create it for you. Or you could run an intern program like I do as well.

#9 – Social Bookmarking

After testing I’m basically at the point where I look at social bookmarking sites as incoming links for the search engines (#5) and ways to find more bloggers to link to your content (#4). The direct traffic generated from most social bookmarking sites has very little direct response. They subscribe in lower numbers, purchase less often, and don’t click on ads. Stumbleupon has been the best of these sites, so you’ll still see my content recommended there regularly. I don’t spend a lot of time on any of these sites now.

#10 – Low Quality Paid Traffic

There are a lot of ways you can generate low quality paid traffic. For example I advertised on Stumble for 5 cents per visitor (very low quality). You can use co-registrations to build your lists. Understand that low quality doesn’t always mean unprofitable. It’s quite possible to profit with co-registration leads because of their volume and low cost. But don’t count them at the same level as leads you generate yourself. Keep them on a different list. The math is totally different off these leads (if you’re averaging $1 per month per subscriber you may only do 10 cents per subscriber or less with coregs).

Note: I didn’t cover referrals (when a client or peer recommends you), but those would easily fit in and often be more qualified than the JV traffic sent to your site. I’ll cover referrals in another article.

Create a 30 Day Promotional Calendar

April 9, 2008

CalendarHave you written down your goals yet? How about your business schedule. What about your marketing plan?

Or are you just winging it?

You’re going to accomplish quite a bit more by applying a little simple planning for your business.

Where do you want to be in 3 years? What about 1 year? What about the next 90 days?

At the end of each day I spend about 5 minutes writing a quick schedule of the next day. This accomplishes two primary goals for me.

First of all, it allows me to end the day. Because I did my plan for the next day I don’t sit there thinking about work for the rest of the day. I’m free from it.

The second thing it does is allow me to stay on target and focused when the next day starts. I’m not wondering where to start. I can get right to business.

My monthly print newsletter goes out tomorrow morning at 9 AM Eastern.

This issue provides you with a 30 day promotional calendar for blogging.

What if you don’t have a blog? So what? Get one. But even if you don’t have a blog, you’re still going to discover promotional techniques you can use to promote your business every single day.

In addition, you’re going to have something even more important. You’ll see an example of a 30 day plan. You’ll have an organized plan in front of you to modify for whatever you are promoting. USE it.

You might decide the plan isn’t perfect for you. That’s OK. But take the model I’m giving you anyway and modify to fit whatever you’re doing. By having this plan in front of you every day, you’ll quit running around “trying” all kinds of ideas…and you’re really get to work at growing your business.

The print issue goes out tomorrow.

Sign-up for it here…

Unique Article Marketing Software

April 2, 2008

Steven Lohrenz released a article marketing software program in the past few days.

I own several article marketing software programs and have mentioned them in the past. But my biggest complaint with all the programs I own has been the fact they have to run from my own computer. If I want to email out articles to specific publishers it is running on my system through my ISP.

As you may already know, many ISPs don’t like you sending a large volume of email from your computer.

Steven finally came up with a solution that allows you to send out your articles from your web server. There are two other features I really love about his program.

It allows you to submit unique articles to thousands of publishers. You can load in all the publishers you want to contact. Then load in several variations of your article. It will automatically create unique articles out of your variations to avoid the duplicate content filters on some of the search engines.

In addition, you can automatically schedule when your articles will be sent out. For example, you could login to the system and schedule for one article to be sent out each week for the next month. Set it up today and they will automatically go out on the schedule you created. It’s set and forget.

OK…what’s the price for this software?

Right now other article submission programs that don’t do as much cost $19.95 up to $347, but Steven is doing something special.

For now, the software is free. But who knows how long it will stay that way?

Why is he giving it away free? The first reason he’s doing this is because the basic foundation of what he created came from an open source program which he modified to add in his additional code for creating unique articles. In addition, he sells other software programs and training tools (including an online video series on how to get the most from article submissions) which he knows you’ll be interested in once you see what this does for free.

I should mention also that I found the software to have one major weakness. It can be a little difficult to install. If you’re a non-techie you’re going to want to hire someone else to install it for you. So that adds a cost to using this program.

Here’s where you can pick up this software for free (and check out his other offers):
http://www.uniquearticlemarketing.com

Thank You And Survey Results

March 31, 2008

First of All, Thank You to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey. I really appreciate it.

Today I’m going to share a few of the results as they apply to this blog and the content here.

The first question in the survey was:
“Which Subjects Would You Most Like Blog Posts to Cover (you can check multiple subjects)?”

The majority of participants filled out 3 to 4 responses so the percentages don’t add up to 100%.

The 3 most popular choices were:

Advice on Internet Marketing Steps – 77.1%
Videos Demonstrating Marketing Techniques – 55.7%
Actual Test Results of Promotions – 51.4%

The 2 least popular choices were:

Marketing Strategies for Brick and Mortar Businesses – 18.6%
Links to Other Blogs and My Favorite Posts – 28.6%

An interesting stat is more people wanted to see me running specials on products than link to other blogs. I also find it interesting that marketing strategies for brick and mortar businesses was the least popular choice, but in the open ended question of how I could improve the blog several people recommended more articles on brick and mortar business internet promotion.

The fact that “advice on internet marketing” won is no surprise since that’s what this blog is primarily about. Having the videos come up second confirms what I’ve been seeing in tests results of the videos I’ve previously published producing quite a bit of traffic here.

Test results were also popular although they came in third so we will add some more test results…although I do more sharing of hard numbers from tests results in my paid newsletter than I do on this blog.

The second question was:
“How Often Would You Like to See New Posts”

The Current Frequency of 3 Times Per Week – 62.3%
2 Times Per Week – 30.4%
Every Week Day – 4.3%
Multiple Times Per Day – 2.9%

So my current frequency is the big winner. Yet, 30% of my regular readers would like me to actually post less often!

If I add both every weekday and multiple times per day together, that still only adds up to 7.2% of the responses that would like more frequent posts. Something I found very interesting here was the number of people who responded in one of the open ended questions below about how they quit reading the more frequent blogs. Posting more frequently obviously creates more traffic, but does it produce more loyal subscribers is the big question?

The next question was an open ended one:
Would You Recommend This Blog to Others…What Would You Say About It?

Why did I ask this question? I was looking for the potential additions to my marketing that I could use. How did my readers see me? Now I’m going to be considering how to expand on what they’ve all shared with me to create an even more unique blog.

Here are just a few of the responses from that section…

Should have found this 8 months ago instead of falling into blackhat marketing methods at late hours of the night in my pajamas.”

“Yes, I’d tell them you were my mentor for a long time and one of my favorite marketers.”

“Yes, I definitely would recommend this blog to others. The blog has tons of great information about internet marketing. Personally, the internet marketing coach that I really trust is Terry Dean.”

“Terry has the best information and most honest, straight-forward product line available anywhere. If you want to grow your business, you’re behind the curve unless you are tuned in to Terry.”

“It’s filled to overflowing with priceless gems of proven internet marketing advice, tactics that help you take your online business to the very next level.”

One interesting response was someone who said No they would not because I promoted sleaze bags. The only product promotions I’ve done recently outside my own have been for Mark Hendricks and Jimmy Brown. If anyone sees them as sleaze bags, then they’re definitely not part of my target market. I’ve known Jimmy Brown since he first got started online and he has even listed me as one of his original mentors in several of his products.

I haven’t known Mark for as long, but I’ve met him in person and spoke at his conference. He is real and honest with his customers instead of spitting out all the hype and bull you constantly see in this market. Speaking with all his attendees who have been at his events was a radical change from most internet marketing seminars.

If anyone has been mistreated as a customer by either of these individuals, I would definitely want to know as I plan to continue to promote them.

The final question in the survey was:
“How Could We Improve this Blog to Serve Your Needs Better (is there any subject you’d like us to cover that we haven’t)?”

I received a large number of suggested topics for future posts. Ones that really stood out to me because they kept being repeated or because they’re something I’d like to cover anyway were:

– Email List Building (the most suggested topic in different forms)
– Systematic Steps for Newbies to Get Started and Start Running Their Internet Business
– Goal Setting and Personal Growth Strategies
– More on Market Research
– How Local Businesses Can Leverage the Internet for New Clients
– Copywriting Information Especially About Landing Pages

Am I happy with the results of survey?

Most definitely. Again thank you to everyone who filled out the survey. Your opinions are important to me. I received many possible post ideas, possibilities of how to put a more unique brand to the blog, and confirmation of people’s interest in additional video information.

Subscribers and Sales

March 28, 2008

Many people track the success of their blog by how much traffic they generate.

I’m going to let you in on a secret. My traffic stats are not the most important stats I keep track of. Of course I’m tracking traffic around here, but the two numbers I look at first are subscribers and sales. Is the subscriber list growing? Are sales growing?

And here’s one that people forget when they get to their traffic stats…
Are the visitors from each source buying and subscribing?

Are those visitors responsive?

Here’s a great article that came up in my feed reader yesterday…

How to Get a Bunch of Useless Traffic to Your Site

Patrick Coffey even shares his definition of HITS. Most people refer to HITS as website traffic. He defines HITS as “How Idiots Track Success.”

My results have been very similar to his. Yes, the social media world can produce a lot of visitors…but the conversion rates from them are MUCH lower than the conversion rates of other types of traffic. PPC, newsletters, search engine visitors, other blogs, articles, and even forums produce much more qualified traffic.

Now of course if you’re selling advertising on your blog and you don’t care what kind of response your advertisers receive, I could see why focusing on high traffic would bring in the numbers. The majority of advertisers judge how successful your site is by how much traffic you’re receiving…not whether they’re responsive or not (at least until they start tracking their advertising).

Does this mean I don’t want social media traffic? No of course not. I want their traffic also. By being in these media, you pick up some additional incoming links for the search engines and other bloggers can find you to link to as well.

Please submit my articles when you appreciate them. But what I’m not doing is focusing really heavy attention on these sites. That’s why you see some social media articles around here, but they’re not the primary focus.

Remember to track the two biggies:

– Sales
– Subscribers

Sales are the money I’m putting in the bank today. Subscribers are the money I’m putting in the bank next month.

I suggest you start putting some heavy priorities on these as well. Traffic is important of course, but conversion of that traffic is our goal.

By the way, thank you for everyone who participated in the survey. I’ve now shut down the survey, will examine the results, and will post some results about it next week.

7 Steps To Start A Blog Today

March 24, 2008

One of the best steps you can take in creating a successful internet business is setting up a blog. Blogs can be used to promote your product, generate a loyal following, build a list, and more.

Blogging is also a great way to get loads of targeted free traffic by ranking high in the search engines. In addition, it allows you to update your site easily with new content…so you’re never held hostage by a website designer.

Here are the 7 steps to getting a blog started today:

1. Choose a Domain Name and Web Host.

When choosing a domain name, do some keyword research on your market and find out which keywords are most popular. Also, consider naming your domain what it is your are going to write about, ie. www.sellingwidgets.com. I would not recommend naming your blog after yourself, unless of course you’ve made a name for yourself in your niche already (meaning people are already searching for your name).

For domain names, I actually own a reseller account so I purchase domain names from myself at http://www.mylowcostdomains.com (meaning I get commissions off my own purchases).

See how you can setup a similar site selling domain names here…

Reserve your own hosting service that you can install and run your blog on. Sure, if want to start for free you could use a free account through WordPress.com, but I highly recommend getting your own hosting. This way, you will have complete control over your blog. The host I recommend even has a Fantastico easy install system for a WordPress blog.

2. Choose Blogging Software.

People will talk about Blogger.com, WordPress.com, Moveable Type, and other blogging software programs. Don’t be confused by all the options. Use WordPress. You can download it for free at their site…

If you want to try out the software first, just sign up for a free account at WordPress.com (linked to above).

Why WordPress? It’s easy to use…and there are a ton of plug-ins to help you expand just how functional and useful it is.

3. Setup a Theme for your Blog.

WordPress has hundreds of free themes to choose from at http://www.themes.wordpress.net. Since you are setting up your blog to promote our products and build a list, find a simple theme that will appeal to your ideal customer.

You can also do your research and find a premium WordPress theme such as the Revolution one (premium themes mean you have to pay a one time fee for them) or you can hire someone to develop an exclusive theme for you.

Here is another area where WordPress shines. You can easily change the design of your entire blog site by changing your theme. All your content is automatically updated with the new theme (I do recommend making a backup first though).

4. Install Free Plugins.

A plugin is a specific software that ads functionality and special features to your blog.

Some of my favorites are Akismet, Do Follow, and social bookmarking plugins. See the most recent plugins I recommend at this previous post http://www.terrydean.org/new-blog-design-and-plug-ins/

5. Create your First Blog Post.

Your first post should be extremely content rich. Some will even call these first few posts you make your foundational content for you to expand your blog on. Create some content that is so good you could sell, but instead give it away free from your blog.

I’ve found just from my own writing that often lists are some of the best ways to create this kind of strong content. For example, check out these posts:

7 Practical Ways to Earn More By Working Less

How to Get A Copywriting Education for Under $100
20 Ways to Add Value to Your Products and Services
25 Ways to Increase Conversion
18 Possibilities to Build Your Unique Selling Position

6. Setup Email Capture and RSS Feeds.

Capturing your visitors email address should be a top priority of your blog. This will allow you to promote your products via email by using autoresponders and even make special offers to your email list only.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is used to subscribe to the feed of a website. This will allow your readers to be notified and will display your blog posts into their software or feed reader service like Google Reader. You will notice the big square orange icon at the top right of this page. This is the industry standard icon for RSS feeds commonly seen on blogs.

I also use Aweber.com to build my email list. In fact my Aweber broadcast list for this blog is MUCH larger than the RSS subscriber numbers…and I want it that way! Those email list subscribers are worth more per subscriber than the RSS subscribers are. You may have even noticed I use a popover to offer the Aweber list on this blog (it’s currently set to only appear for you once unless you delete your cookies).

7. Promote your Blog.

Get out there and PROMOTE!

Just a few ways you can promote your blog are to submit to blog carnivals, use social bookmarking, post blog comments, participate on forums, submit articles, create press releases, etc. And that’s just getting warmed up.

You can even use PPC advertising although I’d recommend not sending visitors directly to your blog. Send them to a squeeze page where they sign up for your blog broadcast list instead of directly to your blog to maximize the visitor value.

What is Blogging?

January 16, 2008

Too often we forget to explain the terms we’re using on our websites, in our newsletters, or in our blog posts. You’ll notice that every market has their own language and terminology.

For example, James Brausch said my Christian book, “Financial Freedom” may “probably only make sense to protestants or those who have some kind of protestant background” in his post here. In the case of that book, it was done on purpose because the book was written to a Christian market.

One of these terms I constantly say, but have never yet defined on this site, is blogging.

The term “blog” simply means “web log.”

For many, blogs were started as an online diary where people kept a running account of their personal lives.

Blogs have expanded way beyond this. Today you will find blogs that focus on being a journalist while others focus on simply using a blog to promote their business. You also have the term “blogger” which has expanded out of a blog. A blogger is simply someone who blogs. They write, publish, or manage a blog.

To keep it simple, a blog is a website where you publish regular updated content about a specific subject. The reason you use a blog over any other form of website is because it’s so much easier to regularly post to a blog without having to deal with HTML, website design, and all the other technical aspects.

In addition, you’ll find search engines such as Google love blogs. Think about it this way. What’s important to most search engines? They’re looking for relevant content and other sites linking to you. Blogs are designed for producing content. And the whole nature of the blogosphere (simply means the world of blogs connecting with one another) is to link to each other. Visit other people’s blogs, take part in their comments, and link out to others. If you do this, you’ll start seeing incoming links at your blog.

Do a little keyword research, and target phrases your customers are looking for. Create posts with titles similar to popular searches, talk about the subject, and generate incoming links for your blog.

You’ll find I don’t normally refer to myself as a blogger. While the term simply means someone who blogs, blogging is NOT my primary business. Blogging is a tool I use to promote my business. Blog posts such as the one you’re reading generate visitors to my site (through the search engines, incoming links from other blogs, and other methods). I also keep an email list on this site that sends out notices whenever I publish to bring my visitors back to my site.

For a business owner, a blog generates both new visitors…and it allows you to keep in touch with your current customers.

To get started with your own blog, you can set up a free account at Blogger.com.

Or you can get started using WordPress (the same software that runs this blog) through any webhost which has Fantastico installs available. For example, you could sign up for your own website at MyLowCostWebHost.com (affiliate link) and then go into the Fantastico install section to install a WordPress blog.

I show the whole setup and promotional process for a blog in my 2 DVD set, “Blogging for Fun and Profit.”

7 Steps for Generating Free Traffic From Stumbleupon

January 7, 2008

I’ve been testing the different social bookmarking sites lately…and the majority of them have horrible traffic. They might send a load of visitors, but those visitors don’t visit other pages and they don’t subscribe. In other words, it’s one quick hit and they’re gone. Unless they become regular subscribers and users, it’s simply a waste of your bandwidth.

Stumbleupon so far has proven itself different. It is the highest traffic of the social bookmarking sites for me right now. And it only has a 41.52% bounce rate. This means 41.52% of the Stumbleupon visitors are looking at one page and leaving.

The other 58.48% are visiting other pages on my site along with a decent percentage subscribing to my RSS and email feeds.

While a 41% bounce rate may not sound all that great, it’s much higher quality than any other type of “Web 2.0″ site sending me traffic currently.

In addition, Google Analytics is showing 95.82% of my Stumbleupon visitors are brand new visitors who have never been to my site before. All in all, the stats are showing Stumbleupon is worth paying attention to for your blog or website.

Step 1: Signup For Stumbleupon

If you’re not already signed up for Stumbleupon, do it now. Click here to join Stumbleupon and then download their free toolbar.

StumbleUpon Toolbar

It’s very simple to use their toolbar. Hit the “Stumble” button and you will be taking to a site in the network that matches one of your interests you selected when you signed up. If you get a site the “Thumbs Up,” it means you like their content and want to see more sites similar to this. If you give it the “Thumbs Down,” you don’t like the site and don’t want to see sites like this in the future.

The more you use the toolbar, the more accurate Stumbleupon will become in delivering the right types of sites to you.

If you find a page that hasn’t been submitted to the network yet, you’ll receive a popup box you can fill out to review it similar to the one below.

Stumbleupon Popup

Write a short review, fill in up 5 tags (make them general such as business, marketing, etc.). Then submit the site. Caution: You want to make sure you are only submitting good quality, high content pages you find to the network.

Step 2: Use StumbleUpon Regularly

Now that you’re a member, it’s time to start using the tools provided to you. Think community first instead of promotion.

Let’s take another look at some more options on the toolbar:
Stumble Upon Tools

You can select the channel you want to stumble through including all, images, videos, popular websites, your friend’s picks, and news items. As you can see in the graphic below, I was surfing through picks from my “Friends” when I took the screenshot. You can click on that button where it currently says “Friends” on mine, and you can choose all the different options including the specific channels you choose you signed up.

Once you have a few friends, I’ve found my friend’s picks to be the best choices for me. That’s why it’s the most common way I surf through Stumbleupon.

When you find great content on a site, submit it with the “Thumbs Up.” When you’re first starting out you may want to do a Stumble Surfing session where you spend an hour or two visiting sites and reviewing them. But you also want to get into the habit of submitting sites while you’re doing your normal work.

When you see good content, give it a “Thumbs Up.”

Step 3: Build Your Profile and Picture

Click on the “Tools” tab in your Stumbleupon toolbar and choose “Profile Preferences.” Here’s where you enter your personal information, your interests, and your public profile. Upload a small picture of yourself (or your business brand logo).

You can modify your interests and your profile at any time on these pages. They are self-explanatory so I will not get into details about these pages.

Step 4: Build a Friend’s List

Start off your friends list by adding me as a friend. Go to my Stumble Upon Page: http://mymarketingcoach.stumbleupon.com . Then choose the “Add to Friends” orange button on the right.

If you click on your “Friends” tab with the graphic of the two people, you’ll go to your Stumbleupon Friends page. Begin building a friend’s list. Remember the old adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” A page becomes popular on Stumble when a large number of users give it the Thumbs Up. You want to build a list of friends who will enjoy the same content you enjoy…and who are likely to give thumbs up to the same types of pages as you.

To begin building your friend’s list, start stumbling a few websites in your favorite category. Then use the “Reviews of this Page” option in your Stumbleupon toolbar (it looks like a chat bubble) when you find a page you really like.

You will then see a list of all the people who liked that page you were looking at. You can then click on each of their images (notice which images you pay attention to for ideas when you add your own image). Take a look at their profile and the kinds of pages they’ve been recommending. If they match your interests, use the orange button to “Add a Friend.”

You can also click on “His Friends” or “Her Friends” right under their picture and profile to find more potential friends to contact.

Step 5: Write High Quality Content

If you want Stumbleupon users to recommend your pages, you have to write great quality content.

Here are two examples of posts from my blog that have generated a good amount of Stumble traffic:
10 Research Sites You Should Bookmark
How to Get a Copywriting Education for Under $100

Write a good step-by-step article on accomplishing a goal or create a list of items your visitors will want to keep and bookmark.

Provide your visitors with some high quality content they can recommend to others.

Step 6: Network With Other StumbleUpon Users

When you find an outstanding site or produce your best content, you can also use the “Send to” option built into the Stumbleupon toolbar to notify anyone on your friend’s list about the page. The goal here is to share content you know they will appreciate…and at the same time build a buzz around that specific page.

Stumbleupon Friends

DON’T Send out pages everyday to your friend’s list. This is something you reserve for your absolute best finds. Remember, it’s called social networking for a reason. Be social and network with others in your friend’s list. Don’t be the jerk at networking meetings who is always trying to get everyone to promote for him/her. Be a friend to others first. Be a giver.

Step 7: Tells Others About Stumbleupon

If you have a blog, tell your blog readers about Stumbleupon. You can also use the “Connect With People” option at your Stumble home page to invite people you know to join Stumbleupon. Remember, top performance will not be achieved by you doing the work. It will be achieved by others recommending your content.

The more active users who give you the thumbs up, the more traffic you’re generate.

Multiply your results by bringing friends, readers, and subscribers into their system to help you promote your best content around the Internet.

Which RSS Feeds Do I Actually Read?

January 4, 2008

I’ve listed some of my favorite business feeds before, but it has always just been my opinion. This time I decided to be a little bit more scientific about showing my favorite feeds.

The RSS reader I use is Google Reader. If you haven’t started using an RSS reader yet, I recommend you try it out. Sign-up for Google Reader, and then use the RSS subscribe button on the right side of my blog (that big yellow button).

Currently I’m subscribed to 31 RSS feeds. To pick out my 10 favorite RSS feeds below, I simply looked in the “Trends” option inside Google Reader

Google Trends I looked in Google Reader and went to the “Trends” option to see my own Reading trends.

What I was looking for were blogs with a high “% Read” stat meaning I was reading a majority of their posts. The first two blogs on the list had a 100% readership rate which meant I read every single post on their blog in the last 30 days.

Then the numbers started dropping from there with the 3rd on at 95% readership and so on. Of these 10, my lowest readership rate showed I read it 55% of the time. I noticed of my other 21 blogs, I was reading them less than 50% of the time (over the past 30 days).

1. Ed Rivis

He publishes consistently good information without all the hype normally associated with internet marketing sites. For example you can see his 2008 Campaign Testing showing the 10 methods you should concentrate on for marketing your site. I also own his Blogging Calendar and it’s a great tool I’m personally using.

2. Pat B. Doyle

She was tied at 100% in my Trends list with Ed Rivis. If I had to best describe her blog and why I’m reading it, it’s because she’s authentic. You can just feel it when you read through what she posts.

3. Copyblogger

Great headlines! It’s so obvious why I read 95% of Copyblogger’s posts. It’s because the headlines are so enticing. The content of course is interesting as well, but I’d subscribe to his list just to see how he constantly does his blog headlines.

4. Cybercashology

Something I find interesting is Robert Phillips has the highest rate at which I read his blog specials. When he runs a 24 hour special or weekend special, I seem more likely to read his than anyone else. Why is this? I think it’s because they’re such good deals.

5. Aaron Brandon

Good content with short posts. Yes, I’m much more likely to read shorts posts as long as they don’t require me to click a link to get full info. As a sidenote to the entire process, I also unsubscribed from several blogs this week simply because they published partial feeds…meaning I had to click a link to get the full post. Forget it. Not happening.

6. DoshDosh

Some of his posts are extremely good. For example, check out this one Stumbleupon. Other posts seem to be a little long and I don’t end up reading them all, but DoshDosh is consistently in my 10 of readership.

7. Lee McIntyre

He is a newer internet marketer and a very good teacher (makes sense since he was a former teacher that he probably likes to teach). I guess I would say his only weakness is he is a little hypey at times.

8. Michel Fortin

Michel Fortin is an excellent copywriter. Check out his article on how to generate excellent fees as a copywriter.

9. Ryan Healy

Ryan Healy is another great copywriter. Wow…notice a trend here about how many of the blogs I read are by copywriters? His old blog can be seen here, but he just moved over to this new one (so the stats are based off his old blog).

10. James Brausch

If I tracked this by the number of posts I read, James would have gotten the number #1 slot. Google trends lists that James wrote 2.6 posts PER DAY over the past 30 days. I think his posts with the title “Check This Out” dropped his percentage read for me as I quit reading those (they required you to click on another link to see the full information).

Other Blogs

There are a lot of other blogs I love to read, but every single one of them had below a 50% readership rate over the past 30 days. This is including blogs like Shoemoney, John Chow, Problogger, etc.

Weekend Links

December 14, 2007

Here are some of my favorite blog posts from around the web this week.

Offers That Increase Profit and Generate Inquiries

This is part of Copyblogger’s 58 Killer Offers series. The whole series is definitely a resource you can use when you’re putting together your product or service offers. Use it as a brainstorming tool to come up with the right unique offer in your market.

The Frustration of Trying to Make Money Online

Fred Black shares that many people have been so hyped up by the salesletters about instant internet riches that they get frustrated by the work it takes to succeed online. Then he shares 20 points to help you consistently be successful with your internet business.

Your Ignored “Call To Activate” Cash Account

John Carlton shares why from time to time you may want to reach out with the phone and call some of your best customers. Nope…not to “sell” them your great new item. Just do it to stay in touch and and build your relationship with them. While you’re at it, you’ll find the selling process is made so much easier.

Top Ten New Years Resolutions – Resolution 2

I quote, “Most people don’t learn until late in life that NO amount of money will be enough or bring satisfaction when you are not a person who has learned true contentment.” Very good article to think about as money alone doesn’t bring contentment in your life.

Stop Selling and Start Giving – The Power of Free Content

Lee Mcintyre shares a video of how he posted a content rich post on one of the popular marketing forums – and how it generated many new visitors, subscribers, and customers for his business. You really can share…and profit from it.

Google Blocks My Blog and Warns Visitors

Michel Fortin tells how his blog was hacked by a malicious code which caused him to be blocked by Google. Google not only blocked his site but also displayed a warning that his site was malicious. You definitely don’t want to use the plugin he talked about here.

Free Media Manipulation by Dean Hunt

Sometimes we try to make marketing just too difficult. This post shares just how easy it is to get the media contacts for major publishing outlets. It takes time, but it is easy.

There Really Is No Such Thing As Bad Press

Controversy sells…and generates traffic. John Chow shares how bad press can be good for business. I can’t agree that this is true 100% of the time, but it is often true.

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