Why is knowing the best time to post a blog so important? If you know when the majority of people visit your site and read your stuff then you can time your new material to be released prior to their arrival. This keeps people coming back to your site and will increase your readership. So what are the best practices regarding times of the day you should post your new articles? Let's take a look.
If you are publishing a breaking news story then it goes without saying it's a time-sensitive piece. You need to get these posts published as soon as possible to get the most out of them. When writing breaking news, don't re-read and edit the thing over and over again to try and make it perfect. Instead get it posted then go back and edit the article if necessary. Speed is more important here than grammar because the quicker you are getting your article up the higher the chance the search engines will index you first, bringing you more visitors and more links from other bloggers.
When publishing your general information or how-to articles speed isn't nearly as important. Instead you want to post right before the majority of your readers arrive on your site. This is where having some analytics information on traffic by hour of the day can be helpful. If you do not have that information or are just starting out then you have to know your audience.
If you are focused on people in the United States the best time for you to post is going to be different than if you are targeting Italy. You generally don't want to post late at night when nobody is online. According to Dan Zarrella, most people read blogs int he morning and there is a steady dropoff throughout the day. So much so that half as many people read blogs at night than they do in the morning.
So the most important thing to remember is to get your new content out before your audience arrives. A lot of people use RSS readers these days. If readers subscribe to your blog and you can time your post to go live shortly before they pull up their feeders, you will be at the top and get a lot more views.
A frequently asked question for people just starting out with blogging is how often should you post new articles? The easy answer is you should publish whenever you have something valuable to say. Of course, ideas won't always just come to you so you are going to have to search out topics to right about. There are a number of factors that should go into your decision on how often you should write new posts for you blog. Let's take a look at some of the things you should consider.
Posting Frequency Varies From Blog to Blog
If you are invovled in a news niche or cover a wide range of topics on your blog then you are going to need to post more often. If you write long, quality, in-depth posts then you can post less frequently. Other people like to write short, sharp posts that cover their information quickly and these bloggers can get away with posting more often. Also, if you have a lot of different writers then you can increase your output a lot easier than if you are doing everything by yourself.
You should also consider who your readers are. You don't want people to unsubscribe from your blog because you are posting too often. You have to figure out what your audience prefers and cater to them.
Why You Should Post More Often
Think about going to CNN.com or DrudgeReport.com. Would you keep returning to their sites every day if they rarely changed the stories listed? The answer is no. The same applies to your blog, if you want people to keep coming back you have to give them something new to look forward to.
If you look at the most popular blogs on the web and their posting frequency, the sites that post more than once per day do significantly better than sites that post fewer than once per day. That means that while knowing the best time to post might be important for your very best stuff, but posting more often will help you gain more readers and links than posting fewer items at the right time will.
The more pages you have the more pages the search engines have to index. This means that you will get more traffic. Also, your existing RSS readers will have more opportunities to see your stuff.
Why You Should Post Less
If you post too often then your readers might feel bombarded and unsubscribe. You might also start running out of ideas if you are posting five times per day. You want to make sure you balance you content out on a consistent basis. If you write fewer posts you will also increase reader engagement so you'll see more comments on each post, generating an in-depth discussion.
The most important thing is to find a posting frequency that works for you and your readers and then stick with it. The number one problem that I find with blogs in trouble is inconsistency in posting.
People get excited when they are starting out and post often, but after failing to generate a solid reader base they start tailing off and their blog ultimately fails. Your readers will grow accustomed to your schedule, but it has to be maintained. If you start publishing every day and then take a week off, your readers will get worried. They might start emailing you to see if you are still alive, or worse, forget about your site and be gone forever.
If you can post once every 2-3 days to start, try that. If you feel like you are getting a backlog of ideas, increase that number to 4-5 times per week and keep building up until you find the right amount that works for you. It's much easier to increase the amount of posts than it is to scale back, readers don't find that as easy to adjust to.
How often do you post? Let me know in the comments.
Keyword density has been a hot topic in years past when webmasters were trying to figure out how to get their pages to the top of the search engine results. Back in the 90's some people were worried about keyword density, prominence, variations, and all other kinds of non-sense. The "magic number" that you wanted to use for a benchmark seemed to fluctuate daily.
With the modern algorithms, density is something that can probably hurt you but not help you. You don't want to stuff your keyword into your content a bunch of times. If you are over-using the term you are targeting then you can harm your rankings or get the page de-indexed from the results completely.
With that being said, you don't want to ignore it completely. Here are some basics that I use for working my keywords into the content:
- Make sure the keyword appears once in the copy. This makes sense since if the article you are writing doesn't have the keyword included in it somewhere, then how can it even be relevant?
- Include the keyword in the title.
- The URL or permalink should include the keyword.
- The H1 tag should include the keyword.
Those four principles are really all I think you should worry about. When writing the copy for your blog or website you don't want to force the usage of a keyword with the notion that it is going to help you rank better. What it probably will do is turn off your visitors as they wonder if the person who wrote it is either a robot or on the lower end of the intelligence scale.
If you write quality content you are going to be better off in the long run. People will think higher of your site or brand, have a higher chance of subscribing to your RSS feed, newsletter, or interact with you on social networks, and they will refer others to your site as a source of expert opinions in the field. These benefits far outweigh trying to get as many people to your site as possible, only to have a higher percentage of them click their browser's back button after reading a few sentences of mindless drivel on your site.
If you are thinking about starting a new blog then the first step is to do extensive research. This might be the most important step in determining whether you make money or not with your online venture. If you skip your research step then you are setting yourself up for failure before you even put any work in.
What do you need to research before starting your site? The first thing you need to know what people are looking for. This can be a product or information that they need. It can be a question that needs answered or a problem requiring a solution.
The second step is to figure out what you can offer them. Can you become an affiliate for products that provide the market with the solution they are looking for? Can you make enough with your percentage to earn a profit?
The three different types of research you are going to have to do are: niche, product, and keyword.
Are there existing products available or can you create your own? Are there customers looking for the products offered?
You need to have both a customer base and something to sell them. The bigger the niche the more people you can sell to and the higher your profit potential. If the niche is small, then you have to sell products with high margins for yourself in order to make a lot of money. If you enter a small niche where your earnings per sale is small then you won't make very much money.
Once you find a profitable niche, the key is to match the audience with a product that they want. It all boils down identifying the target audience and their problem, figuring out how important it is for that audience to find a solution, and offering them the products that will do so.
You will have to compare the available products, find out what is selling the best, and then market that to your audience. You can sell either physical products or digital ones. I prefer digital due to the higher commission rates, but there is also money to be made promoting things people can touch and feel.
When choosing a product, it's important to make sure that it is worth your time. You should be making more than $20 per sale. Some other quick tips on product research are to go with items that have been around for a little while. If it's doing well after a few months on the market, chances are that it matched up pretty well with what people were searching for.
Keyword research - This is how you make predictions on your traffic. How many visitors will you receive and how many sales you can expect on that number of visitors.
You want to rank at the top of the search engines for the keywords that you target. This means that if you are just starting out don't go after the most competitive keyword, it will take you months or possibly years to get to the top of the results, and you won't have made any money in the mean time. Start smaller, make a few sales, and work your way up the ladder of competitive keywords.
The easiest way to start small is to focus on targeted, longer tail keywords. If you are building a site around hair loss, you don't want to rank for "hair loss" but rather "how to stop losing hair." Something that the user is specifically looking for with the intention of buying. My SEO keyword strategy article has plenty of ideas for beginners if you want to read more.
WordPress sites can tend to run a bit slow, especially if you are getting a lot of traffic to your site. The problem is that page loading time matters quite a bit to your visitors. They don't want to wait around for 10 seconds for your page to load or else they will just go somewhere else to try and find the information they were looking for. With that in mind there are probably some things that you can do right now to speed up your site.
Review Your Hosting
A shared host can be great because they cost less than $100 per year, but if you start drawing heavy traffic to your site and make a decent amount of money this is the first thing you are going to want to upgrade. A VPS or dedicated server can cost quite a bit more per month, but not having to share resources with other sites will allow more computer power to be used towards your site. See How to Move Your Blog to Another Host for more information.
Remove Unused Widgets and Plugins
The more plugins you have onyour site the more code that your server has to compile, eating up more resources. Remove any plugin that you do not feel is absolutely necessary.
Install WordPress W3 Total Cache
Minimize PHP Calls
Each time a page on your site loads the browser executes all of the PHP and database queries that it finds. This adds to your load time. Here are some examples of what you can replace:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="<?php bloginfo('html_type'); ?>; charset=<?php bloginfo('charset'); ?>" />
<meta name="generator" content="WordPress <?php bloginfo('version'); ?>" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_url'); ?>" type="text/css" media="screen" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS 2.0" href="<?php bloginfo('rss2_url'); ?>" />
An example of minimized queries & requests:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 3.0" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://www.jamiefaidley.com/wp-content/themes/lightword/style.css" type="text/css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://www.jamiefaidley.com/wp-content/themes/lightword/original.css" type="text/css" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS 2.0" href="http://www.jamiefaidley.com/feed/" />
Now that Google is factoring in loading times to their search ranking algorithms it's more important now than ever to have a good host. Not only will it help you move up the rankings if you are faster than your competitors, but it will also provide a good user experience that can lead to an increase in conversions and sales.
The first tip we gave on how to speed up your site was to review your hosting. Almost everyone starts out on some kind of shared hosting environment. It's cheap and you don't really need much more than what they have to offer. However, as your traffic grows so do your hosting needs. If you don't branch out to some sort of VPS, managed host, or dedicated server you are going to be bogged down.
If you have a WordPress site you might think it's difficult to transfer your blog to another host. It isn't as simple as copying your files over to a new location, you also have to move the database. Sound scary? It isn't when you follow these easy steps.
Transfer All of Your Files
You want to make sure that you move the themes and any of the plugins that you are currently using. I like to transfer all of the WordPress files over to the new installation, so I'll just download the entire folder and upload to the new server. However, be aware that the wp-config.php will need to be modified when you get set up in the new location.
Export Your Data
When signed in to your WordPress Admin area you will see "Tools" on the left menu. Under Tools there should be an "Export" link. Make sure "All Authors" is selected and click the "Download Export File" button. Save the XML file to your computer.
Switch Your Host File
The biggest problem with switching servers is that during the time is takes for the DNS cache to clear and your nameservers to switch over, some people will be viewing the new version of your site while others might be on the old. You want to make sure that both of them look the same and the easy way to do that is to modify your host file to the new IP address. The file is located at: C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. Right click on it and open with Notepad. Insert the following and then save the file:
(new IP address) (domain name)
An example would be: 188.8.131.52 www.jamiefaidley.com
Restart your browser after saving so you can see how your site will look on the new host.
On your new domain you need to go through the steps to setup WordPress. The famous five minute installation has all of the details if you are unsure how to do this.
After WordPress is installed, upload your theme and plugin files that you downloaded from the older version of your site. Activate the plugins and make sure you select the theme you wish to use. Then click on "Tools" in the left hand menu and "Import." Choose WordPress from the bottom of the list. On the next screen click on "Choose File" and browse until you find your XML file that you downloaded previously. Click "Upload file and import."
Now switch the nameservers over to your new host and you will have a seemless move to your new server!
Posting a comment on a popular blog is a great way to get traffic coming to your site. However, due to the large number of spammers out there posting junk, blog owners are careful as to what they accept on their site. If you want to get your comment posted on a popular site you need to make sure you add value. Here is what I do to make sure my comments get accepted.
1. Read the Post
How are you going to post a comment on a post if you don't even know what it's about? If you take the time to read the post then you will be able to contribute something different, or add to the post rather than regurgitate what has already been said.
2. Read Other Comments
This kind of goes with point one from above. If you don't read the other comments then you run the risk of repeating what someone else has already said, and why does the blog owner need two of the same responses on the page?
3. Use Your Name Not Keywords
Most blog comments use the no-follow attribute with their links, meaning they aren't passing PageRank or anchor text. They do help your site get indexed though, so just use your name instead of stuffing keywords in there. It looks less spammy and works just as well.
4. Post Something with Value
Make an intelligent comment that contributes to the conversation. Even if you disagree with what the poster is saying, write a reason why you disagree. Don't commit spelling errors or use incorrect grammar either and "great post" isn't going to cut it.
If you follow those four steps, you will get more of your comments approved.
When you first get started trying to make money online with your own site, chances are you will be balancing your workload with your career. If you are going to build your site into a success then you are going to have to be prepared for what's ahead. Here are some tips on how you can make it work so you can either turn your site into your full-time job or at least have a nice secondary income.
1. Be Ready to Give Up Free Time - If you enjoy reading, watching TV, or doing any other hobbies then you have to be prepared to make the sacrifice. Since you won't have as much down-time from work, it is important that the site you create is about something you are passionate about.
If you enjoy smoking cigars, then starting a cigar store or a blog that reviews popular smokes would be an easier transition than if you were to start a site on something you don't care about.
Don't worry about the money, make sure you are going to stick with it first.
2. Focus - When you are at work it's easy to start day dreaming about what you want to do with your site. This can affect your work performance and hurt your career if the site doesn't pan out. If you think up a great idea then write it down, email it, or text it to yourself so you can come back to it when the time is right.
Don't use your company resources for your personal project either, this is could get you fired.
If you have time over lunch or while making your commute, use it productively. You can think up new ideas, research keywords or competitors, or whatever tasks you need to do for your site.
3. Outsource - If you need a programmer then it might be best to find someone in another country. Most of the time these guys are cheaper, plus you can use the time zone difference to get things done without interfering with your job.
If your wife stays at home, have her help you out by answering emails, posting to social media, or even helping you develop the site.
One of the old adages for Internet marketing is "Content is King." I wrote about how SEO authority uses the number of pages your site has as one aspect of measuring the importance of your site. Plus, the more pages that you have the more page rank that you have to work with for your on-site SEO efforts. The key to all of this though is to make sure that you have quality content that is good for your visitors and good enough that other site owners will want to link to it.
Where do you find ideas for this kind of content? It's not rocket science and it isn't going to be a whole lot of work for you to start cranking it out. Here are some of the resources that I use when I run out of ideas.
Do searchers have a specific question in your niche that they are looking for an answer to? Write a post giving them what they want! Not only is this highly relevant, but you have done a service to your visitor which builds trust.
Do a search in google for "(your keywords) forum" and see what kind of posts are being created. What's even better about forums is that you can post a short answer on their site and link back to a detailed explanation on yours. This not only gets you visitors and site content, but also a link back to your site.
Do a blogsearch on Google using your keywords. Take a look at other top blogs, what blogs they link to in their blogrolls and start seeing what others in your niche are covering. Maybe you have a different take on the subject or maybe you have something more to add. Either way, put these blogs into an RSS Reader so you can keep tabs on your competition and what they are up to.
There are a lot, but the top ones to look at are Ezine Articles, Go Articles, Hub Pages, and Squidoo. Same kind of deal as with other blogs where you want to make sure you are adding to the conversation and not just regurgitating what's already been said.
Post current events relating to your topics. This makes a lot more sense for certain types of sites over others, but is a fast and easy way to generate a lot of pages quickly.