Improving Your Blog Visitors' First Experience

A few weeks ago I wrote about several factors that influence the first impression of visitors to your website. Because first impressions are so powerful, you should always be trying to improve the experience for new visitors in a way that will encourage repeat visits. As a blogger, your visitors will come from all over. They’ll arrive through links from other websites and blogs, search engines, comments on other blogs, social media, etc. The majority of visitors will not arrive at your blog through your front page, but rather through a particular blog post.

It’s easy to sometimes forget about new visitors while you are trying to improve your blog by serving your subscribers, but in order to maximize the growth of your blog, you’ll also need to consider the needs of the first-time visitor.

What Will New Visitors to Your Blog Want to See?

1. What is your blog about?

Many first-time visitors will want to find an About page to find out more about the blog. Your blog should not only include an About page, but it should also be very easy for visitors to find. Using descriptive categories for your posts can also help new visitors to see the focus of your blog.

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An Equation for Explosive Blogging Growth: Content + Networking + Social Media

Growth: a young plantIt amazes me how some blogs take off and grow a very large and loyal audience so quickly. The rest of us can learn a lot from observing the success of others and evaluating what they are doing. There are any number of ways to build a blog, but most of them take more time than we would like.

There are 3 elements that can come together to drastically improve your growth, whether it’s a new blog or an existing one. Individually, these elements are powerful and important, but together they can help build on each other and create exponential growth.

CONTENT

Regardless of what strategy you use to grow your blog, quality content is essential. Even if you’re able to drive large volumes of traffic to your blog, visitors won’t stay on your blog or return later without high quality content. As a result, it is probably the most significant factor for long-term blogging success.

The quality of content involves factors like captivating headlines, readability of posts, the uniqueness of your writing, consistency, and more.

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Researching a Niche: Tools & Techniques

When looking to start a new website or blog, choosing a niche is one of the most important decisions you will make, and it may require some time and research. Fortunately, there are a number of tools and websites available that can help with the research. Throughout this article we’ll look at several of the most helpful resources to help you on your way, and we’ll also go over some items that can influence your decision to proceed in a particular niche or to keep searching for a better one.

Some niches are ultra-competitive and others have little to no real competition. Of course, those that are competitive tend to have the largest audiences, which means higher traffic (and most likely income) potential. Niches with less competition may not have the same potential, but they tend to be more realistic, and in many cases the traffic and subscribers will be more valuable.

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Monetizing a Website Without Alienating Your Visitors

One of the goals of most websites and blogs is to make money. Whether the intention is to build a profitable business or just to cover the costs to operate the site, most website owners need to get something back from their work monetarily to justify the effort that is going into the website.

Unfortunately, sometimes monetizing a website comes at the expense of its readers and visitors. Obviously, in order to maintain a successful web presence, the site must be monetized in a way that is acceptable to visitors.

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Blogging to Improve a Website: 3 Examples

A lot of times we throw websites and blogs into two separate categories. While blogs do have several characteristics, as well as different functionality, that distinguish them from standard websites, the two can be used together to create an even stronger and more effective web presence.

There are a number of websites that use blogs as a supplement to the primary content of the site. In fact, this website is an example. The primary purpose of the site is to offer design services and the blog helps to accomplish the overall objectives by driving more traffic to the site and increasing the exposure of the design services.

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Make Your Website Linkable

One of the most important aspects of marketing and promoting a website or blog is attracting inbound links. A great deal of effort goes into creating link bait and sometimes into directory submissions and requesting links from others. But before these link building attempts can truly be successful, your site or blog will need to be ready. Here are some tips to making your website more linkable:

CONTENT

Of course, the most important aspect of drawing links is the content. Typically when others link to you they are doing so because there is something on their site that they consider to be useful, interesting, funny, or entertaining. Link baiting focuses primarily on the content, and rightfully so. Without good content it will be hard to draw links regardless of the other factors involved.

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40+ Resources for Photo Sharing

Photo sharing and image hosting services are extremely popular, with thousands of pictures being uploaded each minute at Flickr. While the top few competitors get most of the attention, there are plenty of options available. These services have become very valuable for website owners and bloggers as they can be integrated into your website to save some of your disk space and bandwidth. Here are over 40 options:

Flickr

Flickr screenshot

Photobucket

Photo Bucket screenshot

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