Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Boost Your Web Traffic Now: 20 Ways

I recently read that of the billions of Web sites out there, only about 1000 account for half of the traffic. It’s unlikely your Web site is one of the top-rated ones in the world (you wouldn’t need to read my blog then), but even if it is, everyone is always trying to improve and gain more traffic to their site and to convert or commoditize those hits into sales. So how can you get more hits to your site?

1.      Create a good, user-friendly Web site and make sure it is SEO-worthy (the text should use certain keywords that fill 3-7% of the content on a given page).

2.      Post your Web address on everything – business card, letterhead, email signature, profile pages for FB, LI, Twitter, and other social media. Mention it on your blog, in guest blog posts, interviews, and in conversations. Put your site address on your book jacket, in flyers, in ads, and in any communication sent out.

3.      Make sure your site has been listed on the major search engines – Google, Bing, Yahoo, AOL, etc. To locate industry-specific search engines and directories, check out Internet Sleuth (www.isleuth.com).

4.      Consider using pay-per click advertising with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft or Facebook. These will help build traffic to your site and rise you up the rankings.

5.      Update and expand your site often. New content helps you get more traffic and by changing the site, search engines score your site higher. You can also submit new pages for your existing site – or your whole site, if it’s new – to “what’s new” sites, such as www.LII.org/search/ntw, www.newweblistings.com, and www.urlwire.com.

6.      Send out a press release via a news wire source. Consider using www.prnewswire.com,  www.bookcatcher.com, www.ereleases.com,  www.theopenpress.com, www.prweb.com,  www.xpresspress.com, or www.internetnewsbureau.com.

7.      Post comments and messages on the blogs of others – and always mention your site.

8.      Create a newsletter or blog from your site.

9.      Put your site name on premiums and giveaways, from white papers to pens and T-shirts.

10.  Get others to share your link on their sites.

11.  Run a contest or survey – giving people a reason to come to the site.

12.  Give something away for free on your site – something digital.

13.  Locate sites to other giveaways and feature them on your site. You can be the resource that people go to – without having to actually give anything of yours away.

14.  The same holds true for links to information. By being an aggregator, or an editor of the
Web, you can be a source for others – without having to create your own content.

15.  Create a charity and have a section on your site dedicated to it.

16.  Post cool photos or video links – whether of others or your own.

17.  Create an award that requires submissions to the site. Or create a hall of fame, to honor others.

18.  Create a partnership with others to refer traffic to each other.

19.  Tweet your site as often as possible. Update FB and LI postings with your site as well.

20.  Get others to write about you in their tweets, blogs, FB musings or LinkedIn posts.

Interview With Author Richard Small

1.      What type of books do you write? I write historical fiction. Confederate Star Rises is my first published novel, and is a counter-factual, or alternate history story, where a change to a single event alters the outcome of the American Civil War. Confederate Star Rises is the first book in the Confederate Star trilogy.

2.      What is your latest or upcoming book about? I am currently working on the second book of the Confederate Star trilogy, Confederate Star Strengthens. With Central Pennsylvania now firmly in Confederate hands, a desperate President Abraham Lincoln orders Union General George G. Meade to destroy the Army of Northern Virginia. Reinforced by Corps-strength troops recently recalled from the Southern Atlantic Coastal region along with the large garrison from Harper’s Ferry, a rejuvenated Army of the Potomac launches an all-out attack against the outnumbered Confederate forces, dug in just south of Gettysburg. But Confederate General Robert E. Lee has his own surprise waiting for General Meade and the Union army. With the outcome of the war hanging in the balance, North and South collide violently together once again in the Second Battle of Gettysburg, which will determine who controls the Eastern theater of the war.

3.      What inspired you to write it? That’s an interesting question -- one that I’m not sure I cannot answer with any certainty. When I was 10 or 11, I wrote a paper in school about what would have happened if the South had won the Civil War. Was a seed planted at that time that eventually grew into Confederate Star Rises? Perhaps. But for whatever reason, I have always been fascinated by the American Civil War, and wanted to create an alternative history novel that describes how the South could have actually won the war and thereby retain its independence.

4.      What did you do before you became an author? I was a software engineer.

5.      How does it feel to be a published author? I have a couple of feelings about being a published author. First off, publishing a book is a difficult proposition, and I feel very satisfied to have accomplished what I set out to do. Secondly, I actually feel “on purpose” in life. In other words, I feel like I am doing what I was meant to be doing. I never had that feeling during my long career as a software engineer. My software engineer career was about money. But writing is my real passion in life.

6.      Any advice for struggling writers? Yes, I do. Fundamentally, I believe a struggling writer needs to dig deep inside and find out if writing is really what he/she wants to do. Publishing a book, especially if you do it part-time like I did, takes strong commitment, dogged determination, and unrelenting persistence, the likes of which the writer has likely never undertaken before. It helps to have a supportive and understanding spouse and family as well. The key question to ask yourself is this: Do I really, really want to be an author? If the answer to that question is yes, then set weekly writing word-count goals, create a spreadsheet to track progress, graph it, and watch that upward-sloping line grow. That means you are making progress. Set a writing schedule, and stick to it.

7.      Where do you see book publishing heading? I strongly believe that we are at the beginning stage of a revolution in the publishing industry, where printed material is being replaced by electronic media. I liken it to the advent of the automobile, which after some years completely supplanted the horse as the primary transportation mechanism. This is great news for authors, because they no longer can be stopped by traditional publishers from becoming a published author. Instead, authors can bypass this arbitrary gatekeeper by self-publishing their works of written art, becoming in a real sense entrepreneurs of their own creations. It’s an exciting time to be an author!

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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