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Blogging Part 7 - More Traffic Sources

Getting links from other web sites is not the only way to attract visitors to visit your weblog . This time, we are going to explore alternative methods to attract high quality traffic with both free and paid methods.

The first thing you can do to generate traffic is to recycle all the content you have written on your weblog . What I really mean is to turn your weblog posts into little "manuals" or articles that help people solve their problems or offer valuable information and submit them to article directories. These article directories are like aggregators that collect articles of similar themes together in one place, so they receive thousands and thousands of qualified visitors every day.

When you submit your articles to these directories, you are exposing your name to the thousands of pairs of eyes visiting them for free! On most article directories, you are also permitted to include a "resource box" where you can include your contact details, a simple biography and so on. This is where you can truly leverage the traffic of the said article directories.

Some good article directories to get you started:

www.eZineArticles.com

www.ultimatearticledirectory.com

www.submityourarticle.com

Another excellent way to gain traffic is to join internet forums that is based on your niche. To find these kind of forums, just go to any search engine and enter "<your niche> +forum", without the quotes. You would want the most focused forum with a substantial number of active members, and preferably always bustling with activity. Just check the dates of the threads posted on the forum.

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When you join active forums that focus on your field of discussion and post very useful and valuable posts, your peers will start noticing you and paying attention to what you have to say. In most forums, you are also allowed to append a link to your site in the signature line, which is under every post you make on the forums. People will click and visit your weblog if they find your posts helpful and informative. This way, your credibility is built even before they land on your weblog , so traffic from the forums would be easier to turn into profits if your weblog is selling your own products or recommending others' as an affilliate since they are already convinced you're an "expert" in the field.

The strategy we'll discuss is word of mouth. Let's say you already have a daily visitor count of 100. What if you compiled a small report or gift and posted it on your weblog , saying that if a certain visitor can refer three of his/her friends to visit your weblog the gift will be his/hers for free? If your small report or gift is lucrative enough, it will generate a small buzz among your weblog readers and they will surely refer their friends to this weblog that they frequent!

You can also utilize the "blog and ping" technique that everyone's talking about. Basically, when you update your weblog , you can let weblog portals such as www.technorati.com know by pinging them. You can ping a lot of portals at once by using the free www.pingomatic.com.

Besides the techniques described here, there are also paid methods like buying links from high-ranking pages or buying banner advertisement space. A thing to keep in mind when buying paid traffic is to always weigh your profits generated from the paid ads. If your profits do no offset the expense, you will end up losing money, so choose wisely.

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Blogging Part 6 - Offpage Search Engine Optimization II

In the last article, we talked about how getting high quality links from authoritative web sites in your field can boost your search engine rankings. This time, we're going to explore further into linking strategies, and how to determine and obtain "high quality" links. We're also going to talk briefly about Google's PageRank.

First, let's examine a regular link. It's a piece of text (or image, but we're going for text) that links to your weblog , and some of the factors that matter are

1) The address which it links to

2) The text of the link

3) The PageRank of the page on which the link resides

Let's analyze this information one by one. First, you'd naturally want the link to link to your weblog , but to which page of your weblog ? To an individual post or to your weblog 's home page? Since your weblog is a constantly updated web site, it is always wise to accumulate all the links to point to your main page instead if individual posts because they tend to be very time-sensitive.

The text of the link also affects your rankings for a certain keyword. Let's say your weblog is about technological gadgets and another site has a link that says "Barbie dolls" and links to your weblog . Doesn't make much sense, right? If a lot of links that link to your site contain the terms "technological" or "gadget", it will greatly boost your rankings for those keywords. Hence, it's essential to put some thoughts when requesting links from other webmasters as you want them to link to your weblog with appropriate keywords.

Now, about Google's PageRank. It's basically a scale set by Google to measure the popularity of web sites. You can read more about it on http://www.google.com/technology/. What is interesting is that the higher the PageRank of a certain web site, the more frequent Google's robots will visit the web site to index it. Of course, the PageRank of a page will also help it to rank higher in Google's search engine results. In short, having a high PageRank will bring you many benefits SEO-wise.

Your weblog will start with no PageRank (which is different to PageRank 0) because Google has not yet indexed your weblog . Once Google's robots find your weblog through links on other sites, your weblog will show a PageRank of 0 and depending on the PageRank of the referring page, your weblog 's PageRank will also rise eventually.

Getting high-quality links to your weblog will help direct targetted visitors who are interested in your niche to your weblog , enable search engines to find and index your weblog and ultimately rank higher in search engine results.

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