In this post I want to share my top blog SEO marketing strategies that have worked well for me in the short time that I have been blogging.
While I have been making money online for a few years now, I started blogging at the end of July 2010, and have since surpassed my own expectations in terms of visitors, subscribers, profitability and the participation from the community.
I attribute some of this success to effective blog SEO, or blog optimization. A lot of the optimization principles that work for niche websites also work for blogs, with the exception of a few nuances.
Thanks to the Thesis WordPress theme and a couple other blog SEO tools that I use, I have been able to capitalize on organic search engine traffic better than I expected, which has contributed tremendously to my blog’s growth.
Here is last month’s graph showing how my blog generates traffic:
My diversified blog marketing strategy is clearly paying off huge dividends, particularly my blog SEO strategy. Nearly 38% of my traffic is coming from search engine queries, which is my biggest source of traffic.
Organic search engine traffic is 100% free, and means that your website is being found for keywords that people are searching for the most. This is where you want a bulk of your traffic to come from.
But how do you accomplish that? By engaging in effective blog SEO.
Marketing a blog (or any website for that matter) can be broken down in two umbrella concepts, on page blog optimization and off page blog marketing.
On page blog SEO efforts involve researching and selecting the right keywords for your post, applying the correct meta tags, keyword density within the body of your blog post as well as the correct linking structure.
Proper blog SEO can initially seem like rocket science if you haven’t been exposed to it before. But I’ve broken down the process and each individual component in detail in a previous post here.
Though practically not too complicated to implement, these individual concepts can take time mastering, which is why I use Traffic Travis, a program that detects the flaws in each of my blog posts as I type it out and provides recommendations that need to be implemented to best optimize each blog post.
Traffic Travis is neat in that it gives you a rating system similar to the SBI rating system for on page SEO. This system immediately shows you what you have done right and where you can make improvements in your blog post or page to achieve the maximum on page SEO score possible.
In addition to that, Traffic Travis helps you find out exactly why your competition outranks you, and then enables you to beat them. Finally, it also helps you build quality back links.
Using Traffic Travis, coupled with the Thesis WordPress theme has been the best one two punch I have used for effective blog optimization, which has been extremely effective for me so far. Do you HAVE to use these? Absolutely not. Do you WANT to use these? Absolutely. Credible internet marketing tools are meant to make our work easier and expedite our success.
If you don’t do anything else for your blog, employing these two alone will ensure solid on page blog SEO.
If you want to read more about why Thesis is so effective, read my post titled Better Meta Tag Optimization with Thesis WordPress Theme.
Off page blog marketing initiatives can involve everything under the sun, which makes it overwhelming to process, digest and implement. The growing social networking craziness, although effective for many, further ads to the minutiae and makes things more convoluted.
Grant it that each off page blog marketing strategy has its benefits, I will highlight the only three that I put a concentrated focus on which have all worked very well for me. The three are article marketing, guest posting and strategically commenting on blogs and forums.
I engage in article marketing mainly to build quality back-links to my blog, submitting to a handful of selected directories and web 2.0 properties. Article marketing is especially effective when your blog is not as popular yet and when Google takes its sweet time indexing your pages and posts.
Effective article marketing not only ensures that your pages are indexed as quickly as possible, but also gives you a chance to start link building initiatives from the get go. If you are interested in an advanced back link building strategy, read my article on link wheeling as an effective back linking strategy.
The caveat I’d add to this is that although many of my niche sites were not impacted by Panda and Penguin, some have, and it is very difficult for me to determine what caused the hit. My best suggestion is to limit your link building efforts to credible directories and web 2.o properties. I also highly recommend spacing out your submissions over time (drip feeding). Too much too fast will raise a flag.
I engage in guest posting for two reasons; to get quality back links to my blog and to get exposure to a completely new readership base on a popular blog. The latter is actually the primary benefit, with the back link being the inherent benefit of the activity.
Effective guest posting is probably the single best off page blog marketing initiative you can undertake in my opinion to quickly gain exposure to your target audience.
Finally, commenting on blogs and forums also gets you in front of a new audience instantly. Though many blogs and forums allow you to link back to your blog, many blog and forum platforms have a “no follow” attribute in their code which prevents your link from benefiting your blog from an SEO perspective.
If you are tight on time and have to eliminate one of these three off page blog marketing initiatives, commenting on blogs and forums would be the activity you leave out in my experience.
Readers: How are you marketing your blog or website? What blog SEO marketing strategies are you applying? Which have worked best for you? Why aren’t you trying other strategies?Previous: One Excellent Way to Successfully Market an Ebook on Amazon Kindle
What a wonderful post. I have few questions for you.
1. what are the processes one need to follow in order to guest post?
2. How can one know a no-follow blog?
3. What is the cost of paying for a thesis theme and Traffic Travies?
I love all your posts and have just bookmacked your site.
Keep it up
glad you enjoyed Theodore. simply contact an author (read guest post guidelines first if they have it on their blog). I don’t want to mention a number because the cost may change any given time given the promotions/discounts. I recommend visit their website and learning more about what each has to offer and decide whether the cost make sense for you. all the best
Hi Sunil, we must be in sync. You always seem to blog about what I’m working on which is really helpful, LOL!
I’m using a combination 21-day backlinking strategy, combining strategies from Adam Short and Pat Flynn. Basically a mix of article marketing and web2.0. I’ve just started outsourcing the backlinking as I wasn’t doing it consistently. Already starting to pay dividends and drive traffic organically.
My question is regarding Premise (From copyblogger) versus Thesis versus Optimise Press. I have been thinking of moving to Optimise Press from Premise as I find Premise hard to work with. Is Thesis a Premise theme!?
Love the Traffic Travis concept – will check it out. What a great idea!
Thanks for more useful advice and tips. Your blog is always an inspiration. BTW, have you blogged about how you got to 24,000 visitors?
you are welcome Cassie. Thesis is not a Premise theme, and one of the reasons I use it is because of the ease. it’s the best I’ve found in terms of effectiveness and user interface. I have not blogged about my traffic/subscribers but will shortly. many have asked me how I was able to ramp it up. I’d love to hear more specifically about how you are executing your back link strategy when you get a chance?
Hi Sunil, shall we speak on skype soon? I’d be happy to share my backlink strategy. I’ve taken Pat Flynn’s and Adam Short’s and added in some other bits (such as Blog Carnivals) to make my own system which my Filipino outsourcer is now implementing. It’s early days but I’ll be blogging on the results. I’ve signed up for Traffic Travis on your recommendation and will be using that to track the success of our backlinking campaigns.
Can you clarify the difference between Thesis and Optimise Press? I’m confused about which to use – I do want to move away from Premise though as too complicated for me! Thanks.
Cassie – drop me a note when you get a chance and we can go from there. I’d love to compare / share notes. Optimize press is more geared toward landing pages / opt in pages (to make it easy for a user to create one). Thesis on the other hand is a general blogging theme. I have traditional HTML pages for my squeeze pages, and have occasionally used blog pages as well. Both work well for me.
Thanks for another great post Sunil. I was particularly interested to read about Traffic Travis as I have not heard of this before. I think natural link building is the only way to do things as Google is continuously penalising sites which are over zealous in their link building efforts.
Catherine Graham 🙂
you are welcome Catherine. velocity is critical when link building. high velocity comes with a negative connotation that is unnatural, in spite of natural link building efforts. in other words, one can build links naturally, but if done too fast may appear as unnatural. what are your thoughts? what do you consider natural link building and how are you applying it? what kind of results are you seeing?
Traffic Travis looks good – definitely going to try that out. By the way, Sunil, I found that this link’s broken – http://www.easyextramoneyonline.com/blog/2012/08/article-marketing-strategies/
thanks Lieu. it was meant to be a placeholder to remind me to write on this topic. will work on a post on it soon. do let me know how TT works out for you if you decide to try it.
Great post Sunil! This could not have come at a better time. I recently obtained several blogs that really need traffic and this post summarizes what you have done and gives me links to your other articles. This is perfect.
Thanks for all your information and help.
you are most welcome Dan. welcome to the blog and I look forward to hearing more about your initiatives
Sunil, in your article marketing do you use sites such as InfoBarrel.com, EzineArticles.com or other similar sites? This could have a one two punch, you can earn some money from Adsense and Chitika as well as getting a backlink to your blog.
I do use them mainly for PR juice, but I have not linked my Adsense accounts. not a bad idea though…what’s your experience been like with that approach?
Currently I just write articles for Infobarrel and sites like it, though in the future i want to start my own website. When I read your blog post the idea came to my mind.
Infobarrel and the likes are good to get a feel for article writing, but you ultimately want your own web property that you have full control over. I had an eHow account where I was making decent passive income until they shut it. the same can happen with Infobarrel. please let me know how I can help
Great post Sunil with very timely information.
And thanks for sharing your stats. Inspirational, to say the least.
Hi. I’ve been implementing most of the above strategies, but have had horrible luck outsourcing some article and blog work through oDesk. I’ve tried top rated contractors in the Philippines and India, and they basically go 4-10 days without any contact, then promise they are working on it and will deliver soon, and then another 4 days goes by.
Would love to get some pointers from you guys who have been successful outsourcing, and even “share” a virtual assistant if you have found one that you don’t need full time but is good?
hey Russell I think most of us went through the same trial and error process. when you located one, hang on to them dearly 🙂 that said, there are specialized services that vet out candidates for you. they cost a bit more but are where I have had the best results through. feel free to drop me an email and I’d be happy to provide some avenues. I have deleted the email you left on the blog so that spambots don’t harvest it and send you a bunch of spam, but if you want it on there anyway, just reply to this comment with your email and I won’t delete it this time.
Your post is one of a few that i read regarding on on page SEO. Plenty of blogs talks more about off page SEO and white hat techniques. So thanks for sharing Traffic Travis and Thesis WP Theme! I’m doing SEO and blogging as well, and the i couldn’t agree more that the marketing tools expedite the whole process. Google’s latest release of Penguin really hit hard, so mind quality over quantity this time.
a successful marketing approach really involves a blend of both, and with Panda and Penguin focused on manipulative link building, on page becomes more critical. I agree with you on that. would love to hear more about your experience. where were you before the algo updates, what happened and how you are recovering from it. we can all learn from each other.
Man glad I found your blog! Looks like you write about the same stuff I do. I’m all about the on-page optimization right now, but it’s crazy how all of the G changes are shaking up the rules so much. It’s hard to keep track of what to do next.
welcome Nell. I think if you do the basics with on page SEO, you can move on as it doesn’t change much. it’s more off page (back linking) that Google is concerned with at the moment.
May I know, if using the Thesis theme on its own will be able to help in traffic generation. I use a different theme on a blog combined with all-in-one wordpress plugin and some online SEO. I also using social media like facebook and twitter. I am recently getting into article directories as well.
difficult for me to answer Shalu because I have not personally done a case study. I can tell you however that Thesis has helped my organic SEO/traffic. I have a few colleagues that I work closely with and they have had similar experiences. we certainly have benefited from it’s use – but will it do better than the tools you already have? only a monitored case study will be able to tell.
Blogging is a great way to establish. I would suggest unemployed youths and housewives to take blogging as a career
I like the suggestion Santosh. blogging can and does lead to ideal career opportunities. one can certainly leverage its power to get exposed
First and foremost, you must be a godsend messenger to be such an angel to share your thoughts with us. It’s indeed an eye opener for an amateur blogger like me. I did tried upon your ideas but I am not sure why I am not being rank at all in google. Hope you can share a thought or two. Thank again!
what have you tried so far? how old is your site and how many content pages does it have?