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How do I improve the blog?

RicWillmotRicWillmot subscriber Posts: 14
edited July 2008 in Website Critique
In January this year, I was dragged kicking and screaming into the blogosphere. I was told that it would increase traffic to my website, generate significant new readers, yada yada.
Well guess what?It didn`t.So, knowing that I am the one at fault ... What have I done wrong?What needs to be fixed?What needs to be changed?What needs to be deleted?What needs to be added?And, what do I need to do better?Rgds,Ric


  • vwebworldvwebworld subscriber Posts: 40
    Certainly have a link to your site from the menu of the blog.. and consider adding a link in each article too (using targeted keywords). Also, have a link (in your main site`s menu) to your blog.
    Many blogs are installed in sub-directories of the main web site... like http://www.vwebworld.com/blog/ . Your blog is a totally separate domain. This is not a bad thing, there are advantages... SEO crosslinking between your two domains.
    The answer to your questions may be found in the stats of your two sites (blog and main site). Look at your blog`s stats - what amount of traffic is there? The source (referring sites, search engines, direct) and the details of each source (the list of referring sites, and searches / keywords)?  Look at both sites` stats.... determine if and how much traffic is coming to and from each of your site`s to the other?
    The stats can help guide you to what you need to change (if anything). You may find that your blog is doing well - you may have new readers (at your blog). However, they may not find or desire to go to your main site.
    If traffic to your blog is robust but readers are not going to your main site - then provide a link and a reason for them to go. If traffic is not robust, you`ll need to promote your blog more, or change SEO, or other tactics to generate more traffic.
    Certainly make sure your blog is set up to notify search engines that you have a new article. Typically this is done using a "ping" service like ping-o-matic. This tells search engines that your blog has been updated...rather than waiting for the search engines to  hit your blog and find new content.
  • DefMallDefMall subscriber Posts: 2 Member
    Ric -
    Get your readers to `proactively` promote your blog. It`s Ok, once and again, to ASK them to Digg or Stumble an article. To e-mail it to their friends or colleagues. In fact, ASK them in a post what kind of info they would WANT to share with their colleagues, and then blog about that.
    Blog about things that are also relevant outside of your core audience (like an analogy tied to the presidential election or Iraq or Pam Anderson or Vince McMahon`s WWE). This will allow your article to get picked up on Google when the term is searched by otherwise would-not-be readers (that are likely to convert, of course).
    Find OTHER blogs about a particular topic you often discuss and comment those blogs. Your expertise will allow/invite others to check out your blog as well.
  • WebsitesUnleashedWebsitesUnleashed subscriber Posts: 4
    I agree with CampSteve right off the bat. You need to make your blog a place for the potential client to always come back and check. Perhaps go from red to something to complement the green logo.
    Kathy`s suggestion is also very good, you should make the right part of your top header an individual graphic link to the main site. I think that is very straight forward.
    I would move your `Pages` submenu on the left over to the right to go above the `Welcome` submenu Title. If I see an Email me link, I would also want to see links to an About Us page close by.
    As far as linking structure, you shouldn`t have a general link back to the main site at the end of each post with the same anchor text each time. Instead try as much as possible to reference individual pages on your main site (not the homepage) and use specific wording in the anchor and title text of the link. Otherwise SE`s might see it as link spamming when each article has the same type of link over and over again to the domain without any other specifics. So link at most once or twice to specific pages on the main site.
    As far as 3rd party promotion, you do need to get your visitors motivated- but that doesn`t mean providing a submit button to the #1 social bookmarking website (digg). Think niche (especially in your subject). You need to find the sites that cover your subjects. The Top-sites are terrible for reaching niches, and if you do get popular on a topsite, the traffic won`t `buy`- because they all don`t indulge in your niche. Digg`s demographic is not what you want. Here is a wiki list of other social bookmarking websites, but google search might be better. I found these business bookmarking sites:Small Business BriefBiz Sugar
  • RicWillmotRicWillmot subscriber Posts: 14
    Thank you, Kathy!
    Thanks, Roland.
    Color changed, Steve. Is that better?
    Colin, changed the layout. But can you believe it, Typepad cannot change the link on the banner for me. Go figure! I pay for a premium blog rather than a freebie and this simple thing cannot be done. Very annoying.
  • RicWillmotRicWillmot subscriber Posts: 14
    Thank you, Carli.
    Some worthwhile ideas with regards to visual appeal.
    I appreciate you thoughts.
  • kathleenfasanellakathleenfasanella subscriber Posts: 0
    I don`t like the look of it. The masthead, logo and fonts there could use work (sorry!) Hire a pro. Or if you did, hire another one . It`s just not very crisp or professional. Yellow is difficult to work with and this one is passive (waffle-ie, not decisive). Use some color psychology, green says "untrustworthy"; a strong blue is better. Avoid trendy colors (not that you have any just now). You want to imbue competence, longevity and confidence. The site doesn`t do your experience and image any favors. It makes you look like second tier talent (who can`t afford professional site design) jostling for position in a crowded marketplace and that doesn`t match the content of what I`m reading about and from you. It`s just really choppy with lots of header font colors and underlines (technorati tags) competing for my attention. The font colors are dissonant with red, teal, green, lime, purple, navy and black all competing for my attention (use an indent quote style if you insist on using that green, it`s too close to the font body black). Oh, and with grey, that passive yellow and red tipping thrown in for good measure. In fashion you are only allowed three colors. A lot, a little and a smidgen.
    Also, I don`t know why the copyright notice after each article annoys me. Perhaps it`s the implication of it. The people you want to attract already know that (put one notice in the footer). If you have to put it there for people who don`t know, it makes me wonder what kind of visitors you`re attracting or are attempting to attract and if you`re working with people who don`t know that, they`re a lot lower level than me and I`m looking for advisors who can tell me something I don`t already know. Like I said, the psychological implication. Alternatively, it could mean you have a defensive or diffident posture and too concerned about protecting your content which psychologically speaking, is a whole other can of worms. If you have a wealth and plethora of good ideas, you`re less attached to them because you always have more. In manufacturing (my field) I`ve noticed it`s only amateurs with limited ideas and creativity who are most obsessed about protecting what few (usually one) ideas they have.
    I`m sorry this is so negative but I think you deserve better and should give yourself a better chance to make a go of this. The site detracts from who and what you are.
    One last thing. You get by giving. Your links page should sent me to sites that are complementary to yours, not just sites you`re directly affiliated with. Otherwise, it makes me think you`re a lone wolf who does not enjoy the admiration and prestige of colleagues. If your colleagues don`t respect and admire you, why should visitors? Besides, it`s intellectual generosity. People who are confident leaders in their field are not threatened by others. People will return to you based on content -which you have in spades. It`s friendly, approachable, well written and merits greater exposure.
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