Online Marketing News: WordPress Powers The Web, Google Goes Live, Snapchat Through A New Lens

Advertising To Millennials

How Much are Marketers Spending on Millennials? A Lot! [INFOGRAPHIC] – According to the infographic, created by and based on data gathered from Turn, an advertising technology company, marketers are spending 500% more on millennials than every other group combined. As Swant puts it, “there are 75 million millennials in the U.S., and everyone knows advertisers are infatuated with the idea of winning over the biggest buying bloc.” Turn

Report: National Geographic Is the No. 1 Brand on Social Media – New data from Shareablee, shows which publishers fared best on social during Q3, and the impact of wider video adoption. SocialTimes

Study: Retailers Are Ignoring More Than 80% Of Customers’ Social Media Requests – Sprout Social finds most merchants fail to respond to consumer questions on Facebook and Twitter, a problem compounded during the holiday shopping season when the volume of requests increases. Marketing Land

Study: Pinterest Ad Spend Has Skyrocketed — Up Nearly 8X Since January – One of the hottest ad formats of 2015 can’t be found on Facebook or Twitter. Stats provided to SocialTimes by 4C Insights show that clients’ ad spend on Pinterest has far more than quadrupled since January — a rise of 7.7 times. SocialTimes

Google Now Rank Apps Without Web Content & Can Stream Apps Without Installing Them – Google announced incredibly important news not just for SEOs but for the future of their index and ranking reach. Google is now ranking content within apps that do not have web content matches. Google

WordPress Used On 25 Percent Of All Websites [Report] – W3Techs says WordPress’s two closest competitors combine for less than five percent usage across the web. Marketing Land

Survey: Nearly 40% of Mobile Users Hesitant to Use Location Services – Mobile location network Skyhook Wireless has released the results of a recent survey of 1,000 mobile users, focused on consumer opinion surrounding location-based services and apps on mobile devices. The results indicated 83 percent of users say location services are ‘vital’ to an app, but nearly 40 percent of users hesitate to share their location data, due to a number of concerns. SocialTimes

Bing Releases Its Mobile-Friendliness Test Tool – Already transparent about its approach to mobile-friendly search, Bing has now released a tool for validating whether or not your site meet’s the search engine’s criteria for mobile-friendliness. Bing

Facebook Continues to Outpace Google in Click-Through Rates – Facebook’s focus on providing higher-quality impressions for its advertisers is paying off, according to the latest research from Adobe Digital Index. SocialTimes

Google Launches New “Live Blog” Carousel – Publishers can now markup content with live blog schema so that it will be displayed via Google’s newest carousel. Google

A New Study Says Quitting Facebook Makes People Happier – Does going through your Facebook feed ever give you a sinking feeling that you aren’t having as much fun as everyone you know? Why are they so successful? Are they always on vacation? How do they all look good in bathing suits? Would quitting Facebook make you happier than you are now? A new study says it would. Happiness Research Institute

Snapchat Introduces Paid Lens Store, Verified Accounts – Snapchat has released its latest update on mobile devices, introducing a paid Lens Store and ‘Official Stories’ to the platform. SocialTimes

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: Turn

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Online Marketing News: WordPress Powers The Web, Google Goes Live, Snapchat Through A New Lens |

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Black Friday Warm-up: Best Deals for Bloggers

Black Friday deals for bloggers may be a bit premature at the time of this writing, but I managed to collect several items that are either free, on sale, or will be discounted on such date. While many of these are not Black-Friday exclusive, they’re still worth checking out just in time for the popular yearly event.

Let’s explore a series of books, blogging apps, and a highly recommended source that will be selling beautiful, professional WordPress themes at an impressive discount pretty soon.

Amazon Books for Bloggers: Top Picks

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

This book teaches you how to brainstorm, compose, and publish highly engaging content for your blog and all related services. Whether you’re producing content for emails sales pages, or social media, author Ann Handley covers actionable advice for new and veteran bloggers alike.

Main subjects: How to write better, understanding grammar rules, getting your point across, and creating convincing content.

Current Kindle special saves you 48%.

How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul

Do you ever feel hopeless when seeing the success that other bloggers have achieved compared to your own? This book covers crucial ways to leverage your unique blogging gifts and helps you turn your ordinary blog into a money-making factory.

Main subjects: Turning casual readers into loyal followers, increasing blog traffic, becoming a prominent social media figure, growth hacking techniques, and increased revenue.

Current paperback edition saves you 10%, while Kindle Unlimited members get it for free.

How to Start a Blog that People Will Read

Not only does this book teach you how to create amazingly fresh content, but it also covers smart ways to evaluate new online business ideas. This allows you to plan more intelligently and spend less time dealing with trial and error.

Main subjects: Developing new blogging businesses, keyword research, traffic analysis, and various monetization strategies.

Free to Kindle/Kindle Unlimited members.

Blogging for Dummies

While many people only blog for passion, this blogging guide explains how to turn that hobby into a sustainable monthly income by blogging professionally. I am particularly attracted to this course thanks to the trusted brand that has released so many helpful and actionable courses over the years.

Main subjects: The latest blogging utilities, SEO, advertising tools, social media, and monetization options.

Current Kindle special saves you 48%.

ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

Last but not least, ProBlogger’s Darren Rowse has a very powerful guide aimed at newcomers and established bloggers. This book looks at the many ways in which you can achieve a six-figure income through the power of research, niche marketing, social engagement and much more. Highly recommended, overall.

Main subjects: Choosing a blog topic, market analysis, promotion, revenue, useful blogging tools, growing your audience, among other topics.

Current Kindle special saves you 48%.

Best Blogging Apps


This is a well-known productivity tool that no blogger should be without. It allows you to take notes, compose neat to-do lists, attach multimedia files, collaborate with fellow bloggers, among other things. This is essential for busy bloggers who manage multiple websites or many aspects in your blog.


You may already have chosen your preferred blogging platform and published a handful of posts, but we all know this is just half the battle. Buffer enables you to share your content across many prominent social networks simultaneously. You can even schedule your posts to go out at strategic times, such as the hours when your audience is most engaged.


Busy bloggers often come across many interesting things for their website, but may not have the time to implement them right away. Thanks to Pocket, you can save virtually any type of content you find for later. The app supports tagging, searching, and other useful features to help you manage everything you save.

There are many more useful apps for bloggers, most of which are explained in this other post. The above, however, are among the best for organization, execution, and sharing, which are ideal for your everyday blogging needs.

Note: Although the above are not exclusively Black Friday deals for bloggers (you may find such discounts long after this date), you should still leverage these items at their current, limited-time offer.

Bonus: Template Monster 60% Off

black friday deals 2015

Our small (yet crucial) list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning at least one premium WordPress theme.

I have taken special interest in Template Monster, which will have a 60% off discount across the entire site between November 25th and November 30th. This deal is valid with every premium template (based on many topics and categories), including one of their most popular ones, known as Monstroid.

Unlike the aforementioned items, please note that this Template Monster deal is, indeed, exclusive to the Black Friday period.

Black Friday Deals for Bloggers: Just Around the Corner

The above should give you a head start in preparation for Black Friday and beyond. Do you have a special discount you’d like to discuss? Share them in the comments below!

Also don’t miss:

The Visual Guide to Daily Deals Sites


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18 Tools to Help Content Marketers Block & Tackle SEO


In order to scale any content marketing program, every marketer must be equipped with the right tools. Not only is it essential that you create quality content on a consistent basis, but it MUST be optimized in a way that enables you to be the best answer wherever your customers are searching.

A recent survey of over 200 B2B marketers found that 85% listed content marketing technologies as their current top priority.  The following list of free and paid tools represents some of the core, “blocking and tackling” SEO tasks that content marketers can use to advance the findability of their work to better serve customers

While this list is not comprehensive by any means, since there are literally hundreds of SEO-focused content tools, plug-ins, bookmarklets, software solutions, and services on the market, it is simply meant to serve as a starting point for your efforts to improve your content’s search potential.

Keyword Research Tools

Knowing which keywords to use is essential to search. In general, it’s a good idea to look for keywords that have a good ratio of search volume and competitiveness. You’ll want to pick keywords that are in demand, but you don’t want the phrases to be so popular that you would be unable to achieve top search visibility. Here are several useful tools for researching keywords that can inspire content ideas and optimizing the content you have.

Google Keyword Planner 


Since the sunset of Google’s Keyword Tool, Google’s Keyword Planner is a viable alternative. You’ll need a Google AdWords account for access, but with it you can perform many of the same research tasks the Keyword Tool provided for revealing related phrases, popularity counts, and competitive search rankings.



WordStream is powered for PPC keyword research. However, with a trillion keywords in its database, it does offer some free tools that allow you to research keywords, find niche keywords, group related keywords together, and find negative keywords that would be used as filters for a PPC campaign.

WordStream’s free keyword tool offers a list of 11 or so keyword suggestions, as well as a graph that estimates how often the keyword is searched on. Other data points like Google search volume and competition are only available if you sign up for a free trial. If you do decide to purchase full access, WordStream provides a host of keyword management features to help manage your keyword portfolio.



One of the longest-running keyword tools on the market, Wordtracker’s keyword research feature will provide 10 alternative suggestions for your selected keyword, as well as search volume estimations for popularity, competition, and KEI score (a ratio of search volume vs. competition).

If you go for Wordtracker’s paid service, you’ll be able to save keyword research projects and drill down into related phrases (like synonyms).



This tool is completely free and works by collecting auto-suggestions from Google searches. For example, when I type in “content” on Google, it suggests content management system, content marketing, content strategy, and Content Marketing Institute. Ubersuggest will present every possible variation according to the alphabet of each word you might type in. It collects this information for text searches on, as well as searches for images, news, shopping, video, and recipes — and it provides results in 40 different languages.

You cannot “save” keyword research projects, but you can easily copy the keyword search results into a spreadsheet and save them offline.

Competitive Research

The following tools will help you better understand which organic and paid search keywords are driving traffic to your competitors’ websites. This insight can be useful for uncovering new opportunities, as well as for benchmarking.



If you ever wanted to know what keywords your competitors (or any site) had visibility for on Google, this tool helps answer that question. The research tools are divided into groups:

  • Advertising Research shows competitor PPC ads.
  • Organic Research shows keyword rankings on Google.
  • AdSense finds publishers and advertisers.
  • Backlinks helps you research who is linking to you, or your competition.
  • Keyword Research lets you find suggestions of keywords for use in website optimizations.

If you visit TopRank Marketing’s partner page you will receive 30 days free ($ 70 value) by entering the code: TOPRANKMKTG-4R9Q8T5C



With SpyFu’s Classic and SmartSearch tools, you can get a lot of information for free, including the most profitable keywords, competitor PPC ads, and top organic listings showing domain strength, estimated clicks per month, and ranking history.

Content Optimization

Applying keyword research to content can seem like guesswork for those that are new to it. This is where content optimization tools can come in handy.



For content creators just getting their feet wet with SEO copy writing, tools like InboundWriter can provide guidance on keyword research as it is applied to a specific document. In both its WordPress plug-in and web form, InboundWriter offers topic research data from keyword and social media sources. It also suggests keywords to use in your optimization efforts.



From the folks at Copyblogger Media, Scribe has both a WordPress plug-in and a stand-alone software as a service (SaaS) offering — neither of which are free. However, this tool enables you to do topic research from within the document view on search keywords, as well as on social media sources like Twitter or Google+. Scribe will analyze your document and make keyword optimization recommendations — i.e., your art, their science.

Basic On-Page Tech SEO

These content tools help identify issues and opportunities that can improve how search engines find, crawl, and index your site. For the vast majority of content marketers, tech SEO is outside the scope of their responsibilities. But the impact of your site’s speed, crawling errors, and both social and search engine friendliness should not be ignored if great search performance is expected.

Google Webmaster Tools


Both Google and Bing offer access to a mix of reports that help website owners better understand how a search engine interacts with a website. With Google’s webmaster tools, available reports range from crawling errors to determinations of the keywords that appear most often in Google’s search results. In addition, you can build trending graphs from every type of data tracked, and you can also access search statistics for pages that you are the verified author of.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool


Screaming Frog is a software program you run locally that crawls websites and reports back with a wide range of data, including all the files on your site; individual web pages (and all the elements of a web page); internal and external links; response codes; page speeds; and many others. There’s also an XML sitemap generator. A free version of the software provides results on up to 500 items (pages, images, etc), but purchasing a subscription removes that limit.

Pingdom Website Speed Test


How fast your pages load is a ranking factor, and this tool helps you test just that. Slow pages create a bad user experience and, at scale, aren’t very efficient for Google to explore as it crawls the web. This service offers customized suggestions on how to improve load times for a given page you want to analyze.

KnowEm SMO


This is a handy tool for checking the code on any web page to see if it includes code for Facebook’s Open Graph protocol, Google+ Authorship, LinkedIn, and Twitter’s Summary Card data. It also checks for some really basic SEO elements.

Link Tracking

For as long as Google has been on the scene in the search engine world (and even before), links have served as the connective tissue for the web. The quality of links to your web pages and digital assets is directly related to their being discovered by your target audience — whether through a direct visit or through search. Fundamentally, links impact how well your page will rank, so the following content tools can help you track your link profile.



Ahrefs offers a limited tool set for free, as well as a more robust set with a paid subscription. The free option provides a surprisingly strong overview of links for any domain name, including new links, links lost, top pages, link text analysis, and other reference points. You can also compare two domain names for free, which will give another overview report of links and link types, as well as social shares. Many of the top SEOs rely on Ahrefs’ full (paid) suite of tools on a daily basis.



The amount of data crawled by link tracking services is amazing, and can rival the volume of data Google itself keeps tabs on. Majestic enables marketers to research links to their content (or their competitors’ content), and provides a very robust service for free (with registration), including overview information about link types, sources, and history, as well as a list of pages and text most often used in those links. Majestic also offers a unique visual measurement of link quality and the propensity to pass visitors, which it calls Citation Flow and Trust Flow, respectively.

Open Site Explorer


Open Site Explorer is one of the many SEO tools offered by Moz. Its link tracking tool provides scores for domain and page authority, as well as a list of link sources for the URL you are checking. You can also compare multiple URLs, which scores sites based on parameters like “MozRank” (think PageRank) and “MozTrust.” With its free offering, totals for internal, external, and inbound links are provided, as well as follow vs. no follow links, while a paid subscription will provide deeper dives into available data, such as social shares per URL.

SEO Management Tools

For marketers whose job function is focused on a business’s SEO efforts, an SEO management toolset can be essential for organizing many of the ongoing tasks, reports, and research necessary to win at organic search. Here are a few to consider:



For small and medium-sized businesses, Raven provides a mix of useful tools for optimization, social media marketing, content marketing, and PPC advertising. Page-level analysis provides SEO recommendations, and a number of reports can be pulled to track search performance. For the cost, it’s a pretty robust tool set.



A comprehensive offering for mid-market, large, and enterprise companies, BrightEdge offers SEO program management tools, competitive research, and SEO analysis and recommendations for web, mobile, local, and global applications. The offering also includes dashboards, and reporting and forecasting tools. In addition, BrightEdge integrates well with several other tools on this list, including Majestic SEO, Moz, and Google Analytics.

Web Analytics

An analytics service that interprets the actions of visitors (browser or otherwise) is essential to content marketing efforts. But it’s also helpful to work with specific measurement tools that can help you refine your content, calls to action, and other factors that influence consumer buying behavior (aka conversion rate optimization).

Google Analytics


The most robust free analytics tool available, Google Analytics provides just about any kind of information you could possibly need about the performance of your content on the web. Google also offers Analytics training and certification programs, which you should certainly take advantage of if you want to get the most out of this robust set of tools.

A combination of the right content, team members and tools can put you on the path to providing value to your customers that your competition just can’t match. Need help creating quality content marketing that better meets the needs of your customers? TopRank Marketing can help!

The original version of this post was written by Lee Odden and appeared on Content Marketing Institute

Header image via Shutterstock

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18 Tools to Help Content Marketers Block & Tackle SEO |

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The 9 Habits of Blogging to Increase Your Chances of Success

This is a guest contribution from Jerry Low.

There is one thing that all successful bloggers have in common with one another:


They all have habits that keep them focused and productive no matter what else is going on. They can easily navigate the highs and lows of life and still keep blogging away.

These habits force them to focus on things like learning new techniques consistently and seeking new knowledge about blogging, SEO and best practices. They also network with others restlessly.

In order to succeed in any area of life, you have to work on that area consistently. By building the right habits, you increase your chances of success. Think about some of the most successful people you’ve ever heard of.

As pointed out in a Forbes article about developing habits, Michael Jordan practiced jump shots even during his off season; and the Williams sisters practiced tennis every morning before school. To find great success, you have to do more than anyone else and you have to do it consistently.

Every habit you want to build can be broken into a specific sequence of steps. By focusing on these small steps, you build winning habits over time.

In the book “Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard,” the Heath brothers suggest that to motivate the elephant (our emotion), you need to shrink the change.

What does that mean?

Build up the habit by taking steps to make it easier. Put your gym bag in your car’s trunk instead of focusing on the whole process of packing your gym bag, driving to the gym, sweating the heck out of yourself, driving back, showering, and unpacking the bag. Focus on one task at a time.

The same concept applies to blogging.

Focus on small tasks you can do, one at a time, and build the right habits. In fact, from my own experience and observations on other bloggers, having the right habit is the most important element in successful blogging.

When Ariana Huffington started the Huffington Post in 2005, people made fun of her. However, she had a vision. She consistently recruited celebrity bloggers and used some traditional, consistent marketing tactics. The rest, as they say, is history. She left many of her critics in the dust.

TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington provided solid technical information and news that anyone can understand. It is not the third most popular blog in the world. This was accomplished through consistent habits of posting about tech topics and being on the cutting edge of breaking news.

If you wish to have success as a blogger, here at the habits you should develop and keep:

1. Take notes anywhere, anytime

Find the most convenient way to keep all your notes together. There are many ways to do this. You can use index cards and file them. You can jot them down in your phone and transfer the ideas to DropBox or another online storage system. You can file them into folders on your computer.

The main point is to stay productive at all times. It doesn’t matter how you take the notes, just that you take them and make them easily accessible for future reference.

Personally I use Evernote to record all ideas and any reading online that I want to refer back to later. I use Evernote because it is easy for me to synchronize everything between my tablet, PCs, and mobile phones.


A quick view on my Evernote – where you can see how I group my readings and ideas into different notebooks.

2. Ask the right questions, always

Robert Kiyosaki shares a trick in his book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”: he says you should always ask “How can I do this…” anytime you’re impressed by someone else or like an idea.

For example, you listened to one of Pat’s Smart Passive Income podcasts. You think that it’s the best blogging resource ever in the world. So, you ask, “How can I do something like this?”

When you look at another blogger’s income report, ask, “How can I make my blog better than theirs?”

By asking the right question (how?), you open yourself to endless possibilities.

By asking the right question (how?), your brain doesn’t stop at admiring others, but works to repeat what you admire. You keep yourself busy searching for a way to make others admire you as well and to emulate those you look up to.

3. Always optimize your content for search engine traffic

Even though we shouldn’t rely on search engines as our only traffic source, Google is still an important source for targeted audience traffic.

First, always include relevant keywords in your post headlines and titles. Do enough keyword research to understand what searchers are looking for typically and what other bloggers in your niche are writing. This means you should be doing keyword research just to see what is trending, what is getting the most traffic, and what you might want to write about in the future.

Some of the tools you can use for this research include:

4. Post your content to social media at the right time

Nearly all bloggers probably agree that sharing your content on social media isn’t optional. If you want to increase your reach, reach your readers, and get people talking, you simply have to have a social media presence at a minimum on the big three (Google+, Facebook, Twitter).

However, timing those posts just right can have a huge impact on how successful your social media campaigns are.

Generally speaking, if your targeted audience is mainly in the United States, the retweet rate could be 2x higher if you post at 6 p.m. instead of 6 a.m. according to KISSMetrics. Facebook shares on Saturday could be 100% better than shares on Sunday.

Not only does what day you post matter, but what time you post and even what words you use and the size of your image.

Figure out the best time to post on Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest for your profile by using freemium tools such as Adespresso and HootSuite. Then, simply share your important posts during prime time.


I manage all my Facebook campaign via AdEspresso. As you can see – one quick way to optimize your FB ads is to look at the “Best Period” to post your ads.

5. Stay away from distractions when writing

It’s easy to get distracted while writing. Whether you are in the kitchen and your daughter walks into the room and starts talking in the middle of that sentence you are writing, or you have a television playing in the background and something captures your interest, you may get distracted and lose your train of thought.

Our brains are not designed to multitask effectively. Apparently, our brains just don’t like to multitask. Doing more than one task at a time creates “splits” in the brain, which are called “spotlights” by researchers. So, your brain is just racing and trying to switch quickly between different tasks.

Researchers have found that it can take time for the brain to shift from one task to the other. Even if it is only 1/10th of a second, it reduces our attention to that task. While studies show that women are better at multitasking, it isn’t ideal for anyone. It is better to focus on one task at a time. You’ll actually get more done and get it done more quickly.

To work more efficiently and focus on the task at hand:

  • Turn off phones, email notifications, TVs
  • Logout from your favorite social media networks
  • Use a distraction-free tool such as OmmWriter or Cold Turkey if necessary

6. Maintain a balanced life

Burnout can be a serious problem with bloggers. You may have been working on your blog without a break for months on end and seeing very little reward.

It is important to maintain balance in your life or you may burn out, walk away from your blog and never return.

Take time out of your schedule to spend with family and friends. If you are religious, allow time in your schedule to attend ceremonies.

Spend time on other activities you enjoy. You’ll also be surprised at how motivation will strike when you’re doing other tasks.

7. They take care of themselves

Life is busy for everyone. You may have an outside job and blog at nights or on the weekends. Perhaps you have a family or a busy social life as well.

It can be hard to find the time to take care of ourselves with so much going on, but if you aren’t feeling well it is hard to do everything from stay on top of the tasks you need to complete to focusing on writing the best content possible.

  • Get regular exercise to keep your body healthy and your mind focused.
  • Don’t get so busy that you skip meals.
  • Get enough sleep. If you stay up until 3 a.m. every night working on articles, they may or may not make much sense to anyone else.

8. Network with others

Successful bloggers know that blogging can be hard and lonely. They don’t try to go it alone. Instead, they develop a network of like-minded website owners they can turn to for advice, guest posts, links and support.

For example, there are many groups on both Facebook and Twitter in just about any niche you can imagine that are solely for the purpose of networking. For example, if you are a garden blogger, you might join a group on Facebook for gardening bloggers.

Once you join these groups, fellow members will offer advice, tips and will like and share your content on social media. This expands your reach and it expands their reach as you return the favor.

Networking builds your audience and gives you a sounding board.

9. Last but not least, be consistent

In lists of habits of bloggers, there is one thing that comes up over and over again. Post consistently and be true to yourself and your audience.

  • Use analytics to figure out high traffic times for your blog and then choose that time to schedule posts.
  • Post on social media at the same time and on the same days so your followers know they can count on you.
  • If you have a voice, don’t try to change it. If your view today is that widgets are the best thing since sliced bread, you better have an awfully good reason if you plan to change that opinion.
  • Respond to reader comments. They should know they can count on interaction from you.

Your readers will come to trust your integrity and know they can count on you and will feel comfortable sharing your blog with others.

Look at Your Reasons for Blogging

In the end, it boils down to your reasons for blogging.

Do you actually have something to say or some unique knowledge to share? If you are only blogging to make money, then you’re a lot less likely to be successful.

The minute you aren’t making money or it takes longer than you thought it would to make money, you’ll abandon your blog. Instead, focus on reaching one reader you can help or building your audience. The monetization will take care of itself over time.

Jerry Low is a geek dad who enjoys building web assets. Learn how you can grow and monetize your blog better in his recent post here.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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The 9 Habits of Blogging to Increase Your Chances of Success

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8 Data KPIs Every Blogger Should be Using to Grow Their Blog

8 Data KPIsThis is a guest contribution from Justin Butlion.

When it comes to growing a blog, there are a hundred different directions one could take. Some decide that the design of their site is outdated while others remove or add share buttons in the hope of increasing engagement.

In this day and age there are many free tools that provide insights with data that eliminates the need to guess. In this post, I cover eight different key performance indicators that every blogger should be tracking, and how each of these metrics can be used to grow a blog over time.

1. Bounce Rate

Definition: Bounce rate is the percentage of your visitors that view a single page during their visit.

Can be found In: Google Analytics

Bounce rate is one of the best metrics available to determine if there are any major issues with your site from a design or compatibility perspective. The first thing you should look at is your site-wide bounce rate. If this figure is very high (above 85%) it could indicate that your site has major design problems which are putting off the vast majority of your visitors.

If your site-wide bounce rate falls within the standard 65%-80% then you should compare your mobile vs non-mobile traffic. If there is a big difference between the bounce rate of the mobile version of your site compared to the non-mobile version, then your site is not fully compatible for mobile or tablet viewing, and you should address this issue ASAP.

If you don’t have any of the two issues I mentioned above, but still suffer from a high bounce rate, then break it down by traffic source. You might find that there are certain traffic sources which are bringing you junk traffic which is bouncing at a very high rate.

If you are happy with your bounce rate but still think there is room for improvement, then work harder on driving more relevant visitors to your blog via activities on social media, certain niche forums, and by getting backlinks from other sites in your space.

2. Exit rate

Definition: Exit rate is the ratio of page views of a specific page and the number of exits from your blog from that specific page.

Can be found in: Google Analytics

Exit rate can be very confusing, but in a nutshell it represents the likelihood of someone leaving your site from a specific page. The exit rate, similar to the bounce rate, can be used to help identify specific pages where visitors are leaving your site en masse.

If a page has a very high exit rate, it could indicate that visitors deem the page irrelevant or not what they were expecting. If you have certain flows in your blog then you can analyze the exit rates of the different pages in the funnel to determine which pages need your attention.

I wouldn’t obsess over exit rates because these will drop when other areas of your blog like better navigation, improved distribution of traffic and better formatting are implemented. The only thing I would look out for is if there are obvious issues like a high exit rate (above 80%) on pages which should lead to deeper dives into your blog like say your category pages.

3.Traffic distribution

Definition: The breakdown of your blog’s traffic by channel

Can be found in: Google Analytics

sources report google analytics

Capture: The Source/Medium report from Google Analytics shows the performance of traffic by different sources.

Understanding the distribution of your traffic is key to understanding the health of your blog. You can find a detailed breakdown of your traffic distribution in the “acquisition” reports in Google Analytics. I personally prefer to look at the “Source/Medium” report to see the breakdown of my blog’s traffic and I recommend you use the same report.

There is no perfect distribution of someone’s blog traffic because every blog is different and some niches can expect traffic from multiple channels while others might have to rely solely on two or three channels.

The major traffic channels are:

  • Organic search traffic – Traffic from search queries run on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • Direct traffic – Includes all traffic which isn’t in any one of the other four channels. Includes traffic that comes directly to the site by typing it in the address bar, traffic from bookmarks and traffic from emails which don’t have UTMs tags in their links.
  • Referral traffic – Traffic that came via a link on another website.
  • Paid traffic – Traffic which came to your site from paid channels like Adwords.
  • Campaign traffic – Traffic which is tagged with UTM tags will appear in this category. Paid traffic is also technically campaign traffic.

The kind of distribution I’ve seen on a few different blogs is around 30-50% organic search, 10-20% referral, 20-30% direct and 1-10% campaign traffic.

If your blog’s traffic distribution swings heavily towards one channel, like say 80% of your traffic comes from search, then this could indicate that you are not distributing your content well enough and other sites in your niche are not referencing your content.

You should try and balance your traffic distribution to lower risk and maximize your growth potential, just like you would a financial portfolio.

4. Organic traffic percentage and growth

Definition: The percentage of your overall traffic that comes from organic search and the change in the absolute number of visitors from this channel.

Can be found in: Google Analytics:

If you are already looking at your traffic distribution then you will already know the percentage of your overall traffic which comes from organic traffic. The reason I specifically focus on this channel is because I believe it is the one metric early stage bloggers should try and improve aggressively.

Search remains a major channel for bloggers and needs to be a big part of any blog’s growth strategy. Understanding first the overall percentage of traffic from search, and then how this number is changing from month to month will help indicate if you are doing a good job in ranking for more and more keywords and improving the overall SEO strength of your site.

I highly recommend using a tool like Moz for tracking your rankings for specific, relevant keywords. By focusing on climbing up the SEO ladder for relevant keywords in your niche, you will drive more search traffic to your site. The best thing about this traffic is that it is highly relevant so it will convert very well, resulting in more revenue for your business.

5. Shareability of posts

Definition: Average number of total shares that your posts generate.

Can be found in: Social metrics WordPress Plugin or Feedio

The shareability of your posts is an important indicator for your blog. The number of shares your posts get help indicate the relevancy of your traffic, the quality of your writing and the readability of your posts.

The best way to track this metric is to use a tool like Social Metrics WordPress plugin or Feedio which shows the total share and mention counts from Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn for all your recent posts.

You can use this data to determine your average share count and use that benchmark to measure the performance of individual posts.

Your aim should be to increase this average over time by improving your content, the quality of the traffic you are driving to your site, the formatting of your posts and use of media like video and images.

social shares

Caption: Feedio is one of many tools which show you the total number of likes, shares and mentions your posts are getting from different social media networks.

6. Pages viewed per visit

Definition: The average number of pages viewed by an individual visitor per session

Can be found in: Google Analytics

The number of pages viewed per visitor is a classic Google Analytics metric which helps indicate how easy it is to navigate within your site and the overall quality of your writing.

If you know that the right traffic is hitting your site but your average pages viewed per visit is very low then it could indicate that your site is very difficult to navigate and visitors simply can’t work out how to navigate to different pages.

You can use Google Analytics Behavior Flow Report (see screenshot below) to determine how visitors are moving through your site. You can also use the exit rate per page, bounce rate and landing page data to determine where visitors are hitting your site and where they are leaving.

behavior flow

7. Time on site

Definition: The average amount of time an individual spends on your site per session

Can be found in: Google Analytics

Like pages viewed per visit, the time on site metric helps indicate the overall appeal of your site to your visitors. If your bounce rate and pages viewed per visit are very low, then your time on site will also be low. In order to improve this metric you should concentrate on improving the other site performance related metrics like pages viewed per visit, bounce rate and shareability of posts. If you can improve each of these metrics then time on site will improve

Because the time on site metric is directly related to many other metrics, there is no reason to monitor it on a consistent basis. Look at it once every few months to see if it is moving in the right direction.

If you’re putting a lot of effort into improving metrics like your bounce rate, pages per visit etc and none of these metrics are improving then make sure you’re driving the right traffic to your site.

8. Call-to-action conversion rate

Definition: The percentage of your visitors which take a specific action on your site

Can be found in: Depends on the CTA (more details below)

Every blog should have at least one action that you want your visitors to take. This might be signing up to your email list or clicking through to Amazon to hopefully buy your latest book. Whatever that action is you should track the conversion rate in order to determine a benchmark and try and improve it over time.

Tracking CTA conversion rates can be tricky but thankfully there are good methods and tools available to help with this process.

There are a number of different CTAs that you can have on your site which can be at different stages of a funnel. Each step of the funnel should be tracked in order to determine where in the funnel people are falling out. Below is a list of different CTAs and how to determine the percentage of visitors which end up completing the action at the end of the funnel.

Email form to collect emails for a newsletter or RSS-to-email:

The funnel: Lands on the blog > enters email in sidebar, or lands on the blog > navigates to a different page > enters email in sidebar

To determine this conversion rate you would look at unique visitors to your blog and unique emails submitted to your email capture service (Mailchimp for example).

Purchases of a product which is hosted outside of your website

The funnel: Lands on the blog > clicks on banner, or link > purchases product

To determine this conversion rate you would look at unique visitors to your blog, clicks on the banner or link and purchases of the product.

To determine unique visitors to your blog, you would look in Google Analytics; for clicks on the banner or link, you would use a tool like Bitly, and for purchases of the product you would look in the platform which is hosting the product like in your Amazon account.

Downloads piece of gated content on your blog

The funnel: Lands on the blog > clicks on banner or link > fills out form and downloads content

To determine this conversion rate you would simply set up a goal in Google Analytics. This will allow you to dive into your traffic data at a higher resolution and determine interested things which are much tougher to determine in the previously listed funnels. For details on setting up a funnel-based goal in Google Analytics check out this guide.

If you consider yourself technical and you have a budget then I recommend investing in a tool like Mixpanel or Kissmetrics which will allow you to track every event on your site. These tools provide advanced reporting tools to help you run complex analyses of your funnels and traffic performance.


Caption: Example of a funnel report in Kissmetrics


Thanks to Google Analytics and similar web analytics tools bloggers have access to in-depth, useful analytics on multiple aspects of their blogs. Growth has moved from being something your address with your gut and passed experience to one of a science with methodologies and proven approaches.

If you consider yourself a serious blogger that really wants to grow their blog into a thriving business, then you will have to learn and master your site’s data so you can make informed decisions.

I hope this post has helped shed some light on where and how to start this process. If you have any questions, feedback on the post or tips you think should be added to the post then please comment below.

Justin Butlion is the co-founder of Feedio, a marketing platform for bloggers that focuses on RSS-to-email, social media engagement and blogging analytics. Justin loves to write and talk about online marketing and entrepreneurship and is a die-hard English Football fan.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

8 Data KPIs Every Blogger Should be Using to Grow Their Blog

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Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

Reading Roundup: What's new in blogging this week /

Coming to you live from the depths of Melbourne winter – while the rest of the country (almost) is springing into spring, we’re still freezing our butts off. Fingers crossed we’ll start to see the sun soon!

Here’s what I found interesting lately around the web:

How to use a $ 5 Twitter ad To Redefine Your Digital Strategy //  Jon Loomer

The Facebook Advertising guy changes tack with a cheap but effective way of getting audience insights on Twitter that you just can’t get anywhere else – advertising gold.

13 Lessons on Viral Content that got 36,177 Shares in One Year // CoSchedule

With great traffic comes great responsibility.

The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Blog, Attracting Readers, and Making Money // The Penny Hoarder

A very humorous (and useful!) description of those foundational things you really need to get your blog running as fast as you can – but also a few tips for us old fogeys like great places to find images, finding readers, SEO and more.

15 Useful Tips for Attending an Event Alone (and Actually Enjoying It) // Hubspot

There were a few nervous newbies at PBEVENT a few weeks ago – it IS daunting to go to events on your lonesome. Hopefully these tips will help for next time.

How to Tell Stories with Instagram and Facebook Carousel Ads // Social Media Examiner

I have seen some very clever versions of this lately, and I’m left wondering how I could make it work for my own blog. Some are incredibly creative!


What news have you read lately?

Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama or be entertained on Facebook.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Reading Roundup: What’s New in Blogging Lately

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The Biggest Lesson I Learned About Building a Profitable Blog in 2015


Episode 38 of the ProBlogger podcast is focused on something I’ve learned in the course of the past year that I think has the potential to transform not only your blogging, but many areas of your life.

Today’s episode is personal – my personal journey of the last nine months. I talked about it at the ProBlogger event a few weeks ago now in my opening keynote – an unexpected topic perhaps, but one that I think is so useful as the foundation of everything, including building a profitable blog.

The question I want to ask you today is the question we get asked all the time: “how are you?”. Not your blog, not your business, but you?

Not just answering “good”, or “busy”, but finding out how are you really? Don’t gloss over the question – really ponder the answer.

The biggest lesson in blogging I’ve learned this year, is that if I want my blog to shine, I need to move beyond the minutiae of monetising, finding readers, creating content – I need to work on making myself shine. The wellbeing of my blogs is directly linked to the wellbeing of me, and I had been letting myself go.

Late last year I went to the doctor for my annual health checkup, and what he told me changed the trajectory of not only my life, but my blogs as well. He gave me a list of things to work on to get my health back up to speed – a whole list. It was stuff I already knew but had never really done anything about. Seeing it there, in list form, was confronting.

I left that doctor’s office feeling pretty low. I didn’t sleep well that night, as I thought about all the things I needed to change in my life. I even pondered the stuff that the doctor didn’t know, but that I knew was an issue.

The story I want to tell you today is how that day was a pivot point for me, and how putting my health and wellbeing first has made such an impact on my blogs and my work ever since.

I hope it inspires you to examine the parts of your life that need changing, to inspire you to take your health seriously and to stop forgetting to exercise, forgetting to eat well, forgetting to get your priorities in order as we churn on through the hamster wheel of work. I hope it helps you set a solid foundation from which your blogs and online endeavours can grow.

Click here to listen to episode 38 of the ProBlogger Podcast: The Biggest Lesson I Learned About Building a Profitable Blog in 2015.

I’d also love to hear your feedback on today’s episode, either here or at, and your answer to the question: “how are you?”.

Further Reading:

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

The Biggest Lesson I Learned About Building a Profitable Blog in 2015

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10 Ways To Stay Productive as a Work-at-Home Blogger

10 ways to stay productive as a work-at-home blogger - don't tell me you don't need these tips! On is a guest contribution from Larry Alton.

Working from home sounds like a pretty cushy job. You can wear whatever you like, eat as often as you want, text your friends, run errands, and be at home with your family, all while being employed. However, that list of things can often make it difficult to accomplish your work.

If you’re struggling to find a productive schedule as a freelance blogger, consider these tips.

Find Your Groove

Everyone has a groove that spurs productivity. Maybe you need to sit in your office chair with the lights off, blinds shut, and a fuzzy blanket on your lap. Or maybe you need to have a clear view of the sunshine and wear your lucky socks. Maybe your groove requires waking up and going straight to work without eating or showering. Everyone has a different groove, and if you find yours, you’ll find your most productive hours.

Dress Up

It’s pretty cool that you can go to work in your pajamas and fuzzy slippers, wrapped up in your Snuggie. However, that comfort zone may be your downfall. Wearing clothes that are too comfortable can often lead to a stronger desire to relax rather than work. Dressing up in your business professional clothing can help working at home feel more like working in an office, and you might find your productivity spike.

Manage Projects

Stay organized by managing your projects. Whether you write just one blog or you ghost write for 20, there are several tools you can use to stay organized both on the computer and off.

For example, there are software tools and apps that make invoicing, scheduling, and emailing extremely easy. Or if your projects aren’t very complex, you can use a simple white board to keep track of your daily tasks and mark them off as you go. Either way, stay organized to help you stay on track.

Remove Distractions

Email, cell phones, kids, roommates, pets, food, television—all of these are some of the most tempting distractions for freelance writers, and if you want to find productivity, you’ll get them out of the way. Go somewhere to work where you won’t be distracted by your surroundings, and set aside separate time to check your phone and email so that you’re not doing it during your most productive time.

Set Specific Work Hours

Scheduling your time is extremely important for having a constructive day if you make a schedule that works specifically for you. Choosing your own schedule is one of the better perks of working at home, after all.

When are your most productive hours? When do you work most slowly? Some bloggers have their most productive hours between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Others have it from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Whatever time works best for you, make sure you build your schedule around that.

Make Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals

Both short and long-term goals do wonders for inspiring creativity and helping you stay productive. If you’re a work at home blogger, you’re probably goal oriented and deadline driven. Each day, write out your goals for your desired progress and tack it to your office wall. Similarly, define weekly and monthly goals that you’re constantly striving to achieve.

Log Out of Social Media

Social media is incredibly useful for promoting your writing and networking with others. However, when you’re supposed to be writing, it’s basically the antithesis of productivity. During your scheduled work hours, log out of social media. Better yet, block your favorite networks on your computer until a certain time or ask a trusted friend to change the password for you until you’ve finished your work for the day.

Make Time for Exercise

Sitting at your desk chair all day long not only contributes to lost muscle mass and definition, but it also makes you feel less alert and can contribute to lost productivity. When you stay stationary all day long, it can make you feel sleepier and fog your thoughts. Setting aside time for exercise on a daily basis can boost your efficiency by making you more alert and motivated, all while leading to a healthier lifestyle.

Eat Healthy Meals

Another thing that contributes to fatigue and lack of motivation is sugary, unhealthy food. These make it so that you don’t feel 100 percent, which makes it difficult to work efficiently. Healthy meals and reduced snacking on sugary treats can make you feel more alert and healthy, which enhances your abilities to perform your daily tasks.

Prepare the Day Before

As a work at home blogger, your schedule can fluctuate from day to day, but you can still benefit from preparing for your workload a day in advance. Write out all of the tasks you need to complete the next day and even a tentative schedule for completing them.

Furthermore, prepare yourself and your office space. You might set out your clothes or prepare your lunch. You might also clean up your office and pull out any resources you might need for the next day’s tasks. A cleaner, more prepared office makes it easy to go straight to work without worrying about a mess.

Further Reading: 5 Ways to Make Your Blogging Life Easier.

Productive blogging takes practice and a series of trial and error, but once you figure it out, the freer lifestyle is worthwhile.

How do you stay productive when goofing off is a more appealing option?

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

10 Ways To Stay Productive as a Work-at-Home Blogger

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How One Couple Drastically Changed Their Life by Blogging

How blogging changed one average American couple's life / is a guest contribution from Gina Horkey.

Two years ago, my husband and I were just like any other American couple.

We were both working in Corporate America, had a one and a half year old and another on the way. Our work schedules and commutes weren’t bad, we just weren’t doing work that we were passionate about.

Someone else was also raising our child. It could have been much worse – our son was maybe in daycare for 30 hours per week. And the provider was great! It just wasn’t what we wanted. Plus, with another on the way, daycare was about to get real expensive!

Since I’m not one to sit back and accept less-than-ideal circumstances, we decided to make some changes. Here’s our story of going from a dual income, Corporate America household, to a single earning one dependent on just my freelancing income. Buckle up!

Finding a Better Solution

Even though I was a financial advisor, we never thought it’d be possible for one of us to quit work and stay at home with our growing family. After a couple failed nanny attempts and the end of my pregnancy looming, we got desperate and finally entertained the idea.

My husband had always expressed interest in becoming a SAHD and my career was more promising at the time, so we set out to see if it was possible for him, the carrier of all benefits to quit.

By significantly cutting our expenses (cutting cable, reducing our dining out, raising our insurance deductibles, stopping our retirement savings, etc) we were just able to make it work!

Thank goodness we had the good sense to pay-off most of our debt the year or two before.

Fast Forward a Year

Our second child was going on a year old and Wade was enjoying staying at home. All should be well then, right?

Wrong. It should have been.

But I couldn’t help to acknowledge the growing discontent I was experiencing with my work. My clients were great and so were my colleagues. I just didn’t really enjoy talking and reading about investing, tax law or compliance all day long.

I tried to throw myself further into my career by enrolling in an accredited program and pitching a plan to buy into the larger practice. I began studying and we began talks to make it happen.

But then I realized it wasn’t what I really wanted. And I actually listened to myself for once.

Starting a Freelance Writing Side Hustle

So, I did what any other “normal” person did and turned to the world wide internet!

I explored my passions, my available options and started freelance writing on the side a little over a year ago. I secured an unpaid contributorship with The Huffington Post, got some samples by guest posting elsewhere and started my own blog.

I would get up every weekday morning at 4:30 and write for an hour or two before my family woke up and I had to get ready for work. I also had a four-day workweek at the time, so I used Fridays to work on my writing business as well.

I even hired a babysitter from time to time on the weekend to give Wade a break and get some time-sensitive client work done. It was fun, I saw the potential and I was committed to taking charge of my own career future.

All of my hard work and perseverance started to pay off. My income grew month-over-month and I figured out I really enjoyed this world of freelance. I had blogged socially for years, but this was the first time I was treating blogging like a business and reaping the financial rewards.

Putting In My Notice

Eventually things came to a head at work. I opened up about my freelance success and that I had changed my mind about what I wanted for my career future.

I was super nervous about it, but the conversation went better than I had expected. I had been an advisor for almost a decade at this point and with this particular practice for six years. We had a great relationship and I considered them almost like family. But it was hard to disappoint a father-figure!

Due to our great mutual respect, we worked out a plan for them to buy my small practice, for us to find my replacement (for the support duties I performed for the office) and that I’d have a long transition schedule to both train in said replacement and continue to build up my freelance career into a viable business that would support my family.

Becoming a Full-time Freelancer

Right around Christmas, 2014 I had my last day of work. I was now officially a full-time freelancer!

It was exhilarating and a bit frightening all at once. But now, six months later, I can happily say that I made the right decision.

I may work more than ever, but it’s work that I’m passionate about (I write, am a virtual assistant, coach newbie freelance writers and have a course to help aspiring writers for the web launch their own business in as little as 30 days). We also own our schedule, our time and choose how we get to spend it.

Better yet, we choose WHO we get to spend it with.

In Conclusion

Blogging changed our life.

We now decide our schedule, rather than our Corporate America jobs dictating it.

For us, it’s not about being rich or continuing to earn more money – it’s about defining and living out our own priorities, which just so happens to include spending as much time as we can raising our own children.

Want to know my favorite part of each workday now? Coming in for lunch with my family and laying my two toddlers down for their naps. I never would have been able to do that a year ago!

How would your life look different if you felt empowered to make big changes?

Gina Horkey is a writer for hire, with a background in personal finance. She also offers coaching services and really enjoys helping other freelancers gear up to quit their day jobs and take their side hustles full-time. Please stop by Horkey HandBook and say hello and download a free copy of 8 Tips to Start Your Freelance Career off on the Right Foot!

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

How One Couple Drastically Changed Their Life by Blogging

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Grow Traffic to Your Blog Through Guest Posting and Creating Content for Other Blogs, Forums, Media and Events

Grow Traffic to Your Blog Through Guest Posting and Creating Content for Other Blogs, Forums, Media and Events on ProBlogger (the podcast)

Today’s episode is the fifth in this series we’ve been exploring on the ProBlogger Podcast about finding readers.

To get you up to speed, you can find the first four here:

So once you’ve started creating great content, and you’ve found your readers where they’re already hanging out, you can take the next step: creating content or guest posting for other, larger sites to help build your profile and drive traffic.

One of the best ways that you can showcase the kind of value that you’re able to deliver to people on your blog is to create that kind of content for other destinations on the web. But of course, the first thing you need to discern is what we discuss in episode 33: who are you trying to reach? And where are they? That will help you determine who to guest post for, or where to have your content published.

In this episode I will help you find where your ideal readers are, and also what kinds of content you could create to best show your skill and style in places other than your blog. In future episodes, we’ll drill down into each of the strategies I suggest, but for today it’s great to get an overview of how and where you can expand your reach.

Your goal should be to create your best content for these channels you choose in order to demonstrate credibility and authority and that you provide high value in all places, including your own blog.

We discuss:

  • How to add value
  • Building a portfolio of this valuable content elsewhere
  • Pitching ideas
  • What makes it more likely that you’ll be accepted
  • How to promote that content to your own networks
  • Multiple pitches
  • Short term burst strategy, featuring on more than one place at once
  • How to drive traffic without being spammy

So head over to for episode 37: Grow Traffic to Your Blog Through Guest Posting and Creating Content for Other Blogs, Forums, Media and Events, show notes, and to leave a comment, or a review.

Further Reading

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Build a Better Blog in 31 Days

Grow Traffic to Your Blog Through Guest Posting and Creating Content for Other Blogs, Forums, Media and Events

The post Grow Traffic to Your Blog Through Guest Posting and Creating Content for Other Blogs, Forums, Media and Events appeared first on @ProBlogger.


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