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  • How to Create a Plan for Getting Your First 1M Visitors

    Thursday, November 19, 2015 by
    Louis CK is arguably one of the funniest men alive right now. He fills up massive theaters, sells out in minutes, and is so well known that he makes millions selling his recordings on his site with no advertising.  But he didn’t get there overnight. In 1984, he was getting on stage for the first time, and did so poorly that he didn’t try stand-up again for two years! Eventually he came back with a plan, worked his way through the ranks, and became a massive success. Louis CK Building a successful website follows the same path. It’s like Biz Stone’s famous quote: “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” You can’t get your first million website visitors overnight. It requires creating a plan, having dedication, and constantly iterating and adjusting what you’re doing to make sure you hit your goal. Here’s how to do that.

    Planning to Get 1 Million Visitors

    We made a spreadsheet for you to make this easy. 01 Spreadsheet Go ahead and open up it here, make a copy for yourself, and follow along, plugging in numbers as you go. The only areas you need to edit are the ones in blue. The ones in grey update automatically.

    1. Figure Out Where You Are Now

    At the top, plug in your current number of monthly visitors. Current Traffic This is your starting point. Your goal will automatically be set to double your current number. It’s aggressive! But it’s the best start on the road to 1 million visitors and we believe you can do it.

    2. Pick Your One Channel

    Now I want you to pick one channel to focus on. Pick the one that’s most exciting, or that you feel the most comfortable with. Here are your options:
    • Organic (traffic from search engines)
    • Advertising
    • Referrals from other websites
    • Emails
    • Social Media
    Why these options? Because that’s how Google Analytics breaks out your traffic channels so this will make it easier for you to assess how you’re doing. The easiest way to monitor how you’re performing in these channels as you go? Just use an on-site Google Analytics dashboard plugin. 03 Pick your channel Your #1 focus for the next month: getting this ONE channel up so you can hit your goal number. To make up the difference between your goal and where you are now, you’ll need to try some things that you’re not currently doing. This is where the experiments come in. 04 Experiments

    3. Brainstorm Experiments

    Now, for this first month, come up with 3 things you could do to get more traffic. Make sure they’re actionable. Don’t say “get more twitter traffic” say “tweet five times a day and include at least one hashtag in each.” Here are some ideas: Organic Traffic
    • Optimize existing content for keywords
    • Reach out to 100 publications for getting backlinks
    • Set a search volume minimum for future content and stick to it
    • Add more internal site links
    • Buy PPC ads to test potential keywords
    • Spend $500 on Facebook ads to see how they perform
    • Try the same with Google and Twitter
    • Use an automation service like Automate Ads to test different ad designs
    • Reach out to 50 bloggers in your field to build relationships and links to your content
    • Find people who compile lists of products / blogs and ask to be included
    • Look for podcasts / webinars you can participate in and get linked to from
    • Use a tool like Mention to find references to you that aren’t link to you
    • Start an email list if you haven’t!
    • Read up on copywriting to improve the emails that you send to your list
    • Add an email popup tool to your site to get more people to sign up
    • A/B test your emails when you send them out to see what headlines get more clicks
    • Simply change the frequency of your emails to your list to see how it affects activity
    • Join a new social network you aren’t currently using
    • Optimize your tweets for the best number of hashtags
    • Find Twitter chats that you can join in on
    • Create strong visuals for each Facebook post
    Not sure what to do for experiments? Ask in the comments! Someone else is bound to hop in with more ideas :)

    4. Guesstimate Your Traffic

    With your experiments in place, guesstimate how much traffic you think you can get from each idea. Think about it on a daily schedule, and base it on your existing numbers. For example, if a tweet usually results in 5 visits to your site, then sharing 3x a day would get you 15 more visits a day, or 450 a month. Don’t worry about your guesstimate being perfect, the point is to give you an idea of what to prioritize. 05 guesstimate traffic Now you’ll see the one experiment you should focus on. This is where you need to start putting your efforts for traffic building, everything else is a distraction. ONLY do 1 for the next 30 days.

    5. Print it Out

    Last, print that baby out and put it by your computer. You should be getting reminded of your goal and experiments daily to make sure it happens. To recap, here’s what you should have done. If you skipped a step… well do you want your million visitors or not?
    1. Grabbed your most recent month’s traffic from Google Analytics to get your goal
    2. Picked which of the channels you want to focus on
    3. Come up with three experiments you could try for that channel
    4. Guesstimated your possible traffic from each, and put it by that experiment
    5. Printed out your spreadsheet and put it by your computer
    One Last Thing Post what your first experiment is, and how much traffic you want to get with that experiment, in the comments below. Making a public statement will help you follow through, and other people might join in with ideas to help make it happen. Let’s get your traffic growing like crazy.
  • How To Use Guest Posting To Increase Your Traffic And Rankings

    Thursday, November 5, 2015 by
    How To Use Guest Posting To Increase Your Traffic and Rankings
    Guest posting is an incredibly powerful tool to generate traffic and subscribers. In fact, guest blogging is one of the most effective free traffic strategies. However, a lot of people approach the guest blogging process in the wrong way. In order to get the most out of guest blogging you need to be posting on websites that have overlap with your ideal audience. Below you’ll find an exact strategy you can utilize time and time again to send new traffic and leads to your website.  

    What Is Guest Blogging?

    Guest blogging is the process of writing for high profile blogs and websites in your niche. Most often you guest blog for free. But, in return you can associate yourself with a high authority website to borrow authority, and can illustrate your value to your market. Guest blogging is an incredible way to build your authority and send qualified traffic your way through dropping backlinks throughout your post, or within your author byline.  

    What Are Your Guest Blogging Goals

    Before you start actively guest posting it’s important to define your goals. The last thing you want is to start guest posting on a regular basis only to see no result for your business. Are you looking to generate more traffic for your website? Are you trying to build authority and a name for yourself in your niche? Or, are you trying to build high-quality backlinks to grow your search engine rankings? Define what results you want to achieve for your business, and track every post you write, so you can refine your strategy over time.  

    Developing A Guest Blogging Strategy

    Your guest blogging efforts won’t succeed unless you have an actionable and trackable plan to follow. Below you’ll find a five--step process you can implement time and time again. 1. Build Up Your Online Persona or Platform Before you start guest blogging it’s important you take the time to build a solid online presence. You’ll need a solid foundation in the online space that you’re going to be sending qualified traffic to. 2. Identify Guest Blogging Opportunities When you’re identifying blogs to contribute to make sure they have a sizable audience and have at least some overlap with your niche. Obviously, the blogs you end up choosing will depend your niche and goals. The two processes below will help you build a targeted list of blogs to contribute to.
    • Search Google for “[your niche] + guest blogging”, or “[your niche] write for us”
    • Visit Alltop and select your niche for a list of high-quality blogs.
    These will help you build a solid list you can pitch over time. 3. Start The Outreach Process Every blog you contribute to will have different writing guidelines. Some blogs will require you to submit a full post, while others will prefer you pitching a group of ideas. Your pitches will be rejected every time if you don’t adhere to the writer’s guidelines. When finding the right person to email always try to email the editor or the content manager if it’s a larger website, as they’re in charge of the content for the site. If it’s a single author blog then reach out to the blogger directly. When pitching the blog make sure to build rapport with the author or editor first, as this will increase your chances of your post being accepted. 4. Create Epic Blog Posts When writing in front of another audience you want to bring your best writing to the table. Don’t hold back, and don’t send off your secondary content. You want to make a good impression on these websites, and build a connection with their audiences. By providing extreme value you’ll have readers flocking to your website to learn more about what you have to offer. 5. Continue The Process Luckily, there are so many blogs and websites looking for high-quality content that you can replicate this process time and time again. Over time, after you’ve exhausted all of the blogs in your niche you can move on to related blogs and websites. Guest blogging is an incredible strategy that doesn’t require any upfront investment besides your time. The steps above will help you build a strategy that works for you and your business for the long-term.
  • 3 Security Plugins for WordPress to Keep Your Blog Safe

    Wednesday, November 4, 2015 by
    3 Security Plugins for WordPress to Keep Your Blog Safe WordPress is home to hundreds of millions of bloggers, the idea that it wouldn't be a huge target for hackers is nothing short of ignorant. WordPress is constantly being targeted by both low-profile and high-profile security pentesters who may want to exploit the platform for either personal benefit, or for getting an official reward, though the latter is rarely the case. Security can be seen in many different ways, but the type you will usually experience when dealing with WordPress is called web security. Web security possesses the ability to put your whole web file system at risk by having vulnerabilities that haven't been properly understood and prevented. However, preventing attacks from previously unknown vulnerabilities is next to impossible, which is why we need to look elsewhere. Some of the best security protection for WordPress comes from using professional security plugins. A security plugin can help to prevent unauthorized access, as well as log threatening events, it can even completely disable access to your sensitive parts of your website, and you can be the only person in charge of enabling them back. Lets take a look at the top three WordPress security plugins on the market.

    1. Sucuri Security

    Sucuri is a well-known and established name in the world of WordPress (and general web) security. The Sucuri Security plugin has been built to reflect the latest developments in web security, so as to ensure that all WordPress bloggers have their blogs safe and secure. Sucuri plugin will help you to monitor the activity of your logs and outline potential security risks, the plugin comes equipped with a versatile malware scanner that will remove any malware on daily basis, on top of that it will integrate a number of security practices that will make it next to impossible for hackers to break into your blog. Click here to download Sucuri.

    2. BulletProof Security

    BulletProof is very likely to be the most sophsisticated WordPress security plugin, with an amount of features that no other plugin has been able to match, and most likely never will. Is this a good thing? Well, it depends. The BulletProof Security plugin does a lot of things besides securing your WordPress blog, it will help you optimize your sites performance, and you will be able to take advantage of features such as .htaccess security, database backup security, and security precautions for all logged-in users. (Cookie based.) It's highly recommended that you spend some time reading the full list of features on the official plugin page, and decide for yourself whether this plugin is something you'd like to work with. Click here to download BulletProof.

    3. Wordfence Security

    The first thing Wordfence will do after you install the plugin, is to instantly check your site against possible malware threats. The way Wordfence does it, is that it takes the official WordPress source-code and checks it against your own current version on the server, including for themes and plugins. The output is a list of potential threats which you can then terminate, so you don't have to worry about custom plugin and theme changes being classified as threats. This security plugin will not only make your site significantly faster, you will also be pleased to know that the plugin is open-source and anyone can contribute to its success. Click here to download Wordfence.
  • 5 Tips for Optimizing Your Landing Pages

    Wednesday, November 4, 2015 by
    5 Tips for Optimizing Your Landing Pages Your homepage is a landing page, your product features page is a landing page, even the pricing page is a landing page. Any page that features call-to-action buttons to signup as a customer can be considered a landing page, but certainly others are more concise and specific than the rest. Typically it is the product's main feature page that gets the most optimization care, because that's the page that drives the most sales, based on the fact that it has an actionable intention. Landing page optimization is all about User Experience and User Interface, although our product can be amazing and solve a lot of problems for our customers, a poorly executed landing page will not drive the same amount of leads that a fully optimized landing page would. And what is the criteria for a good landing page anyway?

    1. Setup an analytics platform

    Google Analytics is a good start, it will give you all the necessary insight about your visitors and some of their demographic information, but for more concise analytics it's best to look into specifically built marketing solutions that can analyze data such as user live interaction, their browsing history on your landing pages, as well as their potential previous interactions with your landing page. All of which will give you a much more broad and clear understanding of how your landing page is being used.

    2. Optimize for sales

    There's little to no value in optimizing a landing page for search engines, if the landing page doesn't perform well in front of live visitors. Search optimization is only a means of acquiring new and organic visitors, what happens next is their live experience with the landing page that you're offering. If the experience is poor, so will be the number of sales. The best way to go about optimizing for sales is to understand basic principles of UX and UI, GoodUI is one such resource that offers several dozens of concise User Experience and User Interface tips that will let you optimize your landing pages for maximum conversion potential.

    3. Remember the basics

    "What problem are you trying to solve with your service and whose problem is that exactly? The answers to these questions will help you identify who your target audience is. And once you’ve found that out, you then need to spend every waking moment researching on what exactly your audience wants." - Fahad Muhammad Your first landing page will be bad, there's no other way to go about it. Mistakes will be made, and changes will need to be done on almost daily basis, until some time a solid landing page forms and you can begin to start testing its performance. However, we have to emphasize the fact that all landing pages share common traits, components that make a landing page what it is, and without these components, the customer can easily get lost:
    • Headline, and sub-headline (optional).
    • Description that explains the value behind the offer.
    • A self-explanatory image to reflect the product.
    • A number of elements that portray quotes and/or testimonials.
    • A form that can be used to gather visitors details. (pre-sales)
    Any other components are completely up to you and your own personal preference and/or experience, since there's no shortage of landing page examples on the web, inspiration can be gained everywhere.

    4. Limit the navigation options

    The job of a landing page is to keep the visitors attention focused on the copy of the landing page and what it is trying to offer, having a full-blown navigation menu available at the top of the page might be used as a means of exiting the page and thus eliminating any possibility of a sale to happen. This can also be seen as distraction. If you're serious about making sales and increasing conversion rates with your landing page, get rid of the menu and see what happens!

    5. Social proof

    One of the best ways to optimize a landing page is by enabling social proof. This can come in forms of testimonials, quotes and case studies that come from your existing customers. You might be wondering, how do I gain access to these? The best way is to reach out to your existing customers and ask them kindly to do some reviews for you so that you can use them on your landing page. This has been a proven technique for increasing sales through your landing page by the means of establishing credibility.