In the beginning, it’s nice to think that a committed and engaged audience will just fall into your lap if you reach out to the right people and follow the right steps, but it’s just not that easy. You need to make sure your website is set up the right way and is designed to resonate well with your target market. More on that in my guide to starting a blog.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s easier sell gold than it is to sell shit”? Well, have I got some news for you. No website starts out as minted gold right off the bat, so make sure you’re not trying to peddle, well… you know. In the beginning, a lot of websites try to create useful content on their blog for their audience, but end up churning out all the same 500-1,000-word articles offering the 10 quick steps to achieving this or that. Not only is there no shortage of that content on the Internet already, but recent blogging statistics show it’s the last thing that’ll make you stand out from the crowd and forge a lasting impression on your readers.
Connecting the dots between marketing and sales is hugely important -- according to Aberdeen Group, companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve a 20% annual growth rate, compared to a 4% decline in revenue for companies with poor alignment. If you can improve your customer's' journey through the buying cycle by using digital technologies, then it's likely to reflect positively on your business's bottom line.
People look up instructional videos online for everything these days—from how to replace a screen on their laptop to how to make a website and seriously so much more. Even with just a small number of tutorial videos on my own YouTube channel so far, I’ve been able to drive traffic to my blog in a very meaningful way from the platform (especially for the relatively small time investment to create a video compared to writing a 10,000 word article).
In fact, you should be spending a lot of time figuring out what the best way is to promote your content—I try to live by the 80/20 rule. I spend 80% of my time distributing my content, or figuring out the best way to promote it, and only 20% on the actual writing. Obviously, the quality of the writing is important, but it doesn’t matter how good it is if you aren’t spending the time to get it out there.

Avoid overwhelming your readers. When you’re full of inspiration or you have a lot to say, it can be easy to create blog posts, designs, images, and content that are overwhelming to viewers. Try to keep each individual post relatively short, breaking up broad topics into multiple, concise articles. Additionally, avoid having tons of contrasting ads, images, and links spread around the borders of your page.
Target your "advertising." Try to promote your blog in places around the internet where people who would be interested in your blog are likely to be. If you write a post you think a friend of yours would particularly enjoy, let him or her know about it. You can even adapt you signature for different forums. If you blog about gardening and post on a forum about roses, put a link in your signature to a category or tag with all of your rose-related articles or a link to your best article about roses.

On one hand it is good in that it promotes my business on a very high traffic website, and there is a page on their website that has a link to my website (that was already there as a paid listing before the content was posted by them), but I am concerned about duplicate content. Will this hurt my search engine ranking for the content on those pages? I have been working very hard to get good search engine ranking, and some of those pages on my website are on the first page of Google for the relevant keywords, others are not.


Thanks Rand. I finally got the chance to read through this post last night and this morning. We will certainly be adopting most of the tips you have covered. I'm especially excited about utilising Reddit. We have some great posts in our blog but we are still in the early stages of building up a following through Twitter and Facebook so we don't get many views. I think Reddit could definately help increase traffic numbers. Fingers crossed 
Off page SEO: This type of SEO focuses on all of the activity that takes place "off the page" when looking to optimize your website. "What activity not on my own website could affect my ranking?" You might ask. The answer is inbound links, also known as backlinks. The number of publishers that link to you, and the relative "authority" of those publishers, affect how highly you rank for the keywords you care about. By networking with other publishers, writing guest posts on these websites (and linking back to your website), and generating external attention, you can earn the backlinks you need to move your website up on all the right SERPs.
In the 2000s, with more and more Internet users and the birth of iPhone, customers started searching products and making decisions about their needs online first, instead of consulting a salesperson, which created a new problem for the marketing department of a company. In addition, a survey in 2000 in the United Kingdom found that most retailers had not registered their own domain address.[14] These problems made marketers find the digital ways for market development.

Great write up for both the beginner blogger to advanced blogger.  21 great points that often are over looked or not focused upon when blogging.  I often use the following line when meeting asking if SEO is important "What good is a website if no one visits?"  The same could be said about a blog post. "What good is a blog post if it does not receive any views?"
For example, maybe you’d love to rank high in Google for “health food” because your business is a health food store. Well fat (or slim) chance of that happening – “health food” is a pretty competitive term. However, if you focus instead on “health food meal plans” or “health food on a budget,” your chance of ranking for those longer keyword phrases is tremendously higher.
Inbound marketing refers to a marketing methodology wherein you attract, engage, and delight customers at every stage of the buyer's journey. You can use every digital marketing tactic listed above, throughout an inbound marketing strategy, to create a customer experience that works with the customer, not against them. Here are some classic examples of inbound marketing versus traditional marketing: 
Guest blogging is a fantastic way to spread your brand to new folks who've never seen your work before, and it can be useful in earning early links and references back to your site, which will drive direct traffic and help your search rankings (diverse, external links are a key part of how search engines rank sites and pages). Several recommendations for those who engage in guest blogging:
Affiliate marketing - Affiliate marketing is perceived to not be considered a safe, reliable and easy means of marketing through online platform. This is due to a lack of reliability in terms of affiliates that can produce the demanded number of new customers. As a result of this risk and bad affiliates it leaves the brand prone to exploitation in terms of claiming commission that isn't honestly acquired. Legal means may offer some protection against this, yet there are limitations in recovering any losses or investment. Despite this, affiliate marketing allows the brand to market towards smaller publishers, and websites with smaller traffic. Brands that choose to use this marketing often should beware of such risks involved and look to associate with affiliates in which rules are laid down between the parties involved to assure and minimize the risk involved.[48]
However, like we talked about at the beginning, this is not a comprehensive list of everything you should be doing to drive traffic to your blog today. You should be testing out the strategies that you think could work well in your blog niche—and if one does work, put a lot of energy into getting as much traffic from the channel as possible (until it doesn’t work anymore).

If you really want to drive big time traffic to your blog, keywords and SEO have to be a part of your strategy. People get really nervous these days when you suggest doing something in the name of SEO, but remember, search engine optimization is fine when done right. More than fine  - it’s wonderous! You get targeted traffic from Google, and users find the information and answers they’re searching the web for.


Don't be discouraged if you ask and get a "no" or a "no response." As your profile grows in your niche, you'll have more opportunities, requests and an easier time getting a "yes," so don't take early rejections too hard and watch out - in many marketing practices, persistence pays, but pestering a blogger to write for them is not one of these (and may get your email address permanently banned from their inbox).
Using an omni-channel strategy is becoming increasingly important for enterprises who must adapt to the changing expectations of consumers who want ever-more sophisticated offerings throughout the purchasing journey. Retailers are increasingly focusing on their online presence, including online shops that operate alongside existing store-based outlets. The "endless aisle" within the retail space can lead consumers to purchase products online that fit their needs while retailers do not have to carry the inventory within the physical location of the store. Solely Internet-based retailers are also entering the market; some are establishing corresponding store-based outlets to provide personal services, professional help, and tangible experiences with their products.[26]
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