Social Media Q&A #1

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This is the first issue of Social Media Q&A. Wondering what it will be all about?

Social Media Q&A is a series about you – the reader – and your questions. Got a question about Blogging? I can answer it and if I lack the knowledge I`ll research it and still provide you with the best answer I can.

What is in it for you?

Every question that is included in the Social Media Q&A gets a backlink to your homepage.  If you know what backlinks are, then you know that they are very valuable.

I will also provide an occasional bonus which can be in the form of a Book, eBook, Gift Card or Software License.

If a bonus is provided, the bonus will go to the person with the most interesting question.

How to ask me a question?

Go to my Facebook Page or Google+ and either like or follow me. Whenever a new issue of Social Media Q&A is coming, I`ll make a new post and ask for your questions. So check my social media channels regularly if you want to be in the next issue of Social Media Q&A.

That being said, here are the questions for this first issue of Social Media Q&A.

Clare Mansell from MaybushStudio asks: I started blogging on Blogger in 2009, had a hiatus in 2012 and returned at the beginning of this year, BUT there was a big problem, my existing blog had an irrelevant blogspot address (as we’ve moved countries twice since 2009!) so I needed to change it. Two months ago I bit the bullet and bought a new .com, but of course killed my pagerank. My traffic has dropped and PRs aren’t finding me any more. Is there anything I can do to make the new URL more visible other than frequent and good posts? And how long is it likely to take before I regain my visibility?

Thank you for asking this question. Below I will attempt to answer your question with as much detail as I can.

To understand my answer we first need to understand what Page Rank is and what factors influence the score we receive.

What is PageRank?

Page Rank is an algorithm that analyses your link profile and based on the results assigns a score that ranges between 0 and 10. Brand new websites are usually assigned a PR of 0. This increases as more people link to your website. When I say link profile I do not mean just links from external sources but links from internal pages also count towards your page rank.

The benefits of having a high PageRank are that you will rank better in Google and you`ll receive more traffic.

Another benefit is that you`ll get more opportunities / proposals / guest posts not only due to the higher traffic but also due to the higher PR because people tend to ignore blogs with low PR.

You can read more about PageRank here

How to increase PageRank

If we know that PageRank increases the more people link back to you and the better your internal linking is, then we know exactly what we have to do – Put your website out there and improve your internal links.

When trying to capture external links, build links from pages with PR 1 and up. The higher the page rank of the website linking back to you, the faster your page rank will increase. However, don’t focus solely on building links from websites with high PR since this looks unnatural to Google and might get you a penalty. Give those PR0 websites also some love.

Internal Tips:

Linking your internal pages.

Articles:
Once a week or once every two weeks go through your previously published posts and see where you can make a link to another page on your website.

Get in the habit of writing new article that link back to older articles thereby slowly increasing your page rank.

External Tips:

There are many ways that you can get people to link back to you but here are my favourite.

Guest Posts

Guest Posting is a method used by Bloggers a lot to improve their link profile and at the same time gain visibility for their brand.

Open Google and search for blogs related to your niche and topics. Contact the Webmaster of the site and ask whether he accepts Guest Posts. If he does, simply write one and include a link back to your website.

If you can’t find the Webmaster`s contact form, then look in the footer for an email. If you still cannot find it, use who.is to get his email from the Whois Details.

However, don’t rely on emails that you have obtained through the whois of a domain since they might be not monitored or fake. Use this method only if you really want to post a guest post on that specific website.

Tips To Improve Your Chances At Guest Posting

  • Always ask what the Webmaster`s requirements are for the post that you are writing. Strictly follow these requirements to improve the chances of your article getting approved.
  • Do not submit the same article to two or more websites at the same time. Your article might be accepted by both websites. Webmasters don’t want duplicate content because they can receive a Google Penalty.
  • Try to find less popular websites within your niche and contact the Webmaster for a Guest Posting opportunity. Unlike the more popular websites, these websites receive less guest posts requests and are happier to receive them.
  • Always give your best when writing these articles as they must persuade the reader to click through and visit your website. These articles are also a first impression and you know that you never get a second chance on first impressions.

A bit further down I talk about creative writing that entices people to click through. This is also the case when writing articles. You want to write creative titles and anchor texts to improve the chance of people actually clicking and going to your website.

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Image Courtesy Of TechWyse

Engage your Audience

Where does your audience hangout? Find the answer to this question and directly engage your audience.

Here are a few places where you can start.

Forums:
Find forums related to your niche. Add your website to your signature and be a good member of the community by contributing and sharing qualitative content.

Make sure your signature entices people to click through by being creative with the text. If you have ideas how to do this, great! If you don’t, then search for some information on how to improve click through rates.

Social Media:
You can search for discussions related to your blog and area of expertise, and get involved. If you have an article on the topic, you can share that link with the people taking part in the discussions or the person who started it all.

Websites similar to Yahoo Answers are also a good way to engage people that have specific questions.

Have people share your content

When writing articles think of ways that you can provide extra value to your readers. Lock that extra value behind social buttons so that if your readers want to see or download it, they will first have to share your blog. (click on the social buttons)

An example of this can be an article about 10 Ways To Secure WordPress that will have a bonus of 10 More Ways You Can Secure WordPress. The Bonus of course will be locked away behind the buttons.

Another exam is if you write an article and produce a video with some extra information. You can lock the video and make it accessible only if people click on the share buttons.

There are a couple WordPress plugins you can use to achieve this. I don’t know about Blogger though. You`ll have to look around.

A quick search returned this tutorial about how you can create your own social content locker on Blogger.

Commenting

Make a list of the Top 100 blogs within your niche and leave constructive and quality comments on them.

I do not mean to spam blogs with comments such as “Thx” or “This post was great”. Provide quality in your comments and if you can add something extra to the article that the author has missed.

 

The second question is from Hits Universe Group.

Blogging is for most newbies a matter of “like to so much, but don’t know how and where to start”. So Dani I wonder if you could consider making a post that relies to the above? http://www.hits-universe-group.com

Where to start? Well here is how I would approach it if I had to do everything all over again.

The first thing I will do is figure out what am I passionate about – assuming you don’t already know. Once I have some idea I will go and find a niche for my passion. I will browse for various sub niches that will perhaps provide valuable insight.

TIP: If you don’t know what your passion is, expose yourself to everything that arouses your interest. Buy some books on various topics and start reading. If halfway you see that this is not really something you are passionate about, switch to the next item on the list. Finding your passion is very important and not only because you want to create a blog. Once you know what you are passionate about you`ll feel much more at ease.

I have written an article on ways you can find a niche for your blog.

The first thing to consider after you have found your niche is whether you are willing to spend any money on it. If you are, then you should get a good Web Hosting Service and WordPress (free) to begin with. If you are not, then there are a lot of ways you can blog for free.

I have written an article “Introduction to Web Hosting”. You should check it out before subscribing to any web hosting service.

When you start a blog you should also consider the reasons behind this desire. Are you blogging for a hobby or do you want to make money as well?

In either case I would go for the paid option of self-hosting my blog. Why?

  • You will have your own domain name. ex: www.yourdomain.com which is much more memorable and professional
  • You will have control over all of your files
  • You can customize anything on your blog (providing you have the knowledge to do so)
  • You don’t have to abide by the ToS of anyone (except your web hosting company)

However, if you have no budget or do not wish to spend any money, then please by all means go for the free option. I would recommend either WordPress or Blogger, but there are also other options such as Tumblr. I do not mean to imply that you cannot monetize a free hosted blog. You can!

PLANNING, PLANNING, PLANNING.

One of the mistakes I did when I was creating Blogging With Dani – not so long ago – was that I did not plan. I just jumped in with both feet and more or less hoped for success. This was a huge mistake as I now am aware of.

Now I realize the importance of planning and how much clearer it will make your goal setting and efforts to achieve these goals.

If you know exactly where you want to be over a week, month or a year, you can plan steps and setup goals that will get you there.

Here are a few questions you need to answer in this phase:

  • Which countries will you target?
  • What language will you target?
  • Where is your audience hanging out online?
  • What problems of your audience can you solve?
  • What is the blog`s purpose?
  • Where do you want to be in the future? What is your vision?
  • How will you do things differently from other blogs within your niche?
  • How will you brand your blog? (colours, logo, communication, emotions)
  • What will be your content strategy?
  • How will you promote and generate traffic to your blog? (Diversification is the key here. Don’t rely solely on Google for your traffic because you might lose half of it during the next Google Update. If you diversify, you`ll have many sources of traffic and the impact of the update will be much less)

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The more you know about your audience, the better you can serve them.

I would like to say thanks to the two people that took the time to ask me a question and thereby helping me to make this article.

The questions you see in this article were asked on Facebook as a response to my post about wanting to start a Social Media Q&A Series. If you want to be in the second issue of Social Media Q&A, Like my Facebook page, Follow me on Twitter and Google+, and reply on my next thread about Social Media Q&A #2 coming soon.

Questions from people that get included in Social Media Q&A get a free backlink to their website!

If you have any advice for me about Social Media Q&A, leave them in the comment section below or use the contact form to send me an email.

What are your thoughts about this first issue?