The Quick Start Challenge has officially come to a conclusion, so now the Facebook group has taken on a new meaning. It has become a place for the group members to ask questions of one another, to share experiences, and to get overall news and information.
One post in particular caught my eye. The poster asked for advice from those participants whose blogs were getting decent traffic and/or making money. Since I hadn’t checked since a few days ago, I logged in to check my New Statpress stats. (Note: New Statpress is a free WordPress plugin that will report all sorts measurements including: number of visitors, number of unique visitors, which spiders have come along to crawl your site, what search terms visitors used to find your site. The numbers aren’t official, but it will give you information that Google Webmaster Tools won’t.)
What I found surprised me. I was expecting a few hundred visits max since April 1. What I got was `1256 visitors and 2361 pageviews. Granted, a number of those pageviews were initiated by other QSC members visiting each others’ blogs and posting comments. And a significant number of those visits were from spiders, the bots that crawl websites to report back to their search engine masters.
Google Analytics had the visitor number at 397, significantly lower than Statpress. I am still learning the particular differences between the two forms for reporting. But I have been around the IM block enough times to know that most new blogs take much longer to reach those numbers. I have set up a number of blogs myself that didn’t attain those numbers for months, if ever. I confess, backlinking has never been my strong suit, so it has been haphazard on those sites at best.
The part that I found most interesting was what search terms the site was ranking for:
The site was in the top 10 for some very current, topical searches. The mention in that particular post was only as a reference to the Get Response CEO’s letter to customers listing other companies that were affected by DDOS attacks. Now, I do not know how many people were actually searching for those terms, probably very few. The only way I know how to check that is with Google Adwords tool, and that doesn’t always report up to date searches. But what that told me was blogging about very current issues will get Google’s attention, and will probably get you traffic.
So, what were some of the other things that may have accounted for the traffic, I wondered? I know a bit about search engine optimization (SEO), but nowhere near what the serious marketers know.
Things That I Think Made A Difference
1. Regular Posting – I tried to post every other day, and didn’t allow more than a week to pass in between posts. This was not too hard, because part of the challenge requested a regular posting schedule to keep track of our progress.
2. YouTube Videos – The second week of the challenge involved making a YouTube video and embedding it to the blog. Because this was very far out of my comfort zone, and this was a challenge, I elected to go for broke and do a talking head video describing the challenge. I made a designated YouTube Channel (Entreprenurse), and uploaded the video there. I also made two others, and embedded both. Now, I’m no beauty queen, but I think making the video of myself talking to the camera helped. Having a face in the video to watch is more interesting to most people than a Powerpoint show. I realize it’s beyond the comfort of many people, as it was for me, but I’m glad I made the stretch. I’d much rather watch a person talk than just see slide after slide after slide. Apparently other people feel the same.
3. Blog Hopping – I visited a number of the blogs of other challenge members, and made comments. They, in turn, reciprocated by leaving comments on my blog.
4. Forum Posting – I visited a couple of internet marketing forums and left posts there.
5. Personal Posts – I tried to make the posts somewhat personal, while still staying on task. At this stage, I am trying to get my bearings rather than teach anyone about internet marketing. I have been studying IM for some time now, and I do feel like I know quite a bit. But since the challenge was focused on setting up a framework for a business, I took it step by step according to the blueprint laid out in the challenge.
Up to this point, I can’t really say I did much more that may have brought traffic to the site. I am still trying to get the autoresponder issue straightened out completely.
I am also trying to get clarity on my next step. I can’t say I learned anything in the challenge that was groundbreaking for me, but there were enough nuggets there to make it worth the price in time and money. What it did most for me was tie the steps together and set up a roadmap that can be followed to success. It was like graduating from school – we got the education. We just need to apply it systematically and add enough value to make someone else willing to pay for it.