In life, you learn from your mistakes.
You won’t grow if you don’t let the error of your ways shape your life and become a better person in the process.
The same can be said about SEO.
You can try your best to observe the best SEO practices on your blog. However, it doesn’t necessarily equate to producing the results you want.
You can’t do the same thing over again expecting different results.
You need to change and mix things up.
Of course, you can’t improve if you don’t know what you need to work on.
This reason is why you must scale and track your blog’s performance over time. Whether you own a blog or manage someone else’s, it is crucial to keep tab of its progress. The data should provide you information about your most viewed pages, how long they stayed on each, and the referral traffic, among others.
When it comes to SEO reporting tools, you should be good with Google Analytics and Search Console. Both offer insights and data that can help figure out the next moves on your blog. However, these tools have steep learning curves. To the untrained eye, it is difficult to extract actionable items from the amount of data they provide. For clients and newbie SEO bloggers, you may need a more straightforward way to analyze the data from your blog. This way, you not only see what the next best steps to take with your blog, but also provide clients an easy-to-understand report of your SEO progress.
Below are SEO reporting tools you need to consider using for your blog:
Agency Analytics is perfect for agencies managing the SEO of different blogging clients. As one of the best analytics tools in the market, it gives you a bird’s eye view on your blog based on various factors.
Agency Analytics lets you keep track of your keyword ranking and monitor the backlinks you acquire over time. The SEO Audit feature allows you to analyze your blog using SEO factors and determine what you need to focus on.
The tool lets you connect your Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, and the popular social networking sites so you can keep an eye on your social and PPC performance.
Once you’ve set the metrics that Agency Analytics will track, you can set the tool to create automated reports using the parameters as benchmarks. You can create a white-labeled report that you can use to impress prospective and current clients.
Agency Analytics offers flexible prices that should satisfy marketers and agencies. For $49/month, bloggers can launch five (5) campaigns with 500 keyword rankings and 50,000 audited site pages. Organizations will have a field day with the $99/month plan which covers ten (10) campaigns, 1,000 keyword rankings, and 10,000 audited site pages.
What others say about this tool: “If you run a small SEO shop or manage a couple of websites for yourself or clients, then this tool is competitively priced and offers a lot of similar features as other tools and services.” – Alex Zerbach, alexzerback.com
2. Raven Tools
Similar to Agency Analytics, Raven Tools is your be-all-end-all SEO reporting tool and then some. Aside from tracking and measuring your site using SEO’s best practices, you can analyze your social, PPC, and email marketing performance. All you need to do is connect third-party apps to Raven Tools, which will extract data and present them to you in a single dashboard.
Once you’ve connected all the apps you need, you can schedule beautiful and easy-to-understand reports to you or clients on a regular basis. Doing so cuts the time of looking at your analytics every time you want to know how you can improve your blog further.
Unlike Agency Analytics, Raven Tools has a higher price point that starts at $99/month for four (4) users. The tool is geared towards agencies serious with their SEO reporting.
What people think about this tool: “[If] you’re on a limited budget and don’t want to shell out for 4 or 5 different internet marketing tools every month, one Raven Tools subscription can easily replace your need for multiple tools.” – John McElborough, johnmcelborough.com
If you want an all-encompassing tool to cover not only your SEO reporting tool but also your budget and call tracking, then NinjaCat is for you. You can monitor your client’s budget so you can see which among the expenses are hitting their ROIs and determine if you’re close to overspending. The tool’s built-in call tracking service gives you the lowdown of calls you received over time. Analyze the calls based on different factors such as location, answer status, duration, and more.
Aside from these, you can draw data from over 750 sources to populate your report. Use the different sources to monitor campaigns across all blogs and websites. Compare data from multiple periods to get a better breakdown of your blog’s performance.
What people think about this tool: “NinjaCat is the best agency reporting tool I have seen on the market. If your agency needs to dive into their clients accounts then this is the tool for you. Spend more time improving and less time bouncing around.” – Brian Jackson, woorkup
While most SEO reporting tools let you view all blog and website data in a single place, Whatagraph focuses on giving you the most visual report possible. The tool automatically generates a visual representation of the data from third-party sources you connected with the tool. As a result, Whatagraph offers the easiest to understand SEO reports in the market. If you want to justify your SEO efforts to clients without any SEO experience, then Whatagraph will help demystify your work to them. Also, the tool is perfect for bloggers who want a simpler way to check the SEO data of their blogs.
What people think about this tool: “Whatagraph is an up-and-coming reporting tool that cuts down the jargon of usual client reports. Its less-is-more approach of showing website data in beautiful visuals and images makes it easy for clients and even marketers to understand your performance.” – Michael Jenkins, Shout! SEO Company
As far as SEO reporting tools are concerned, AWR Cloud takes the cake as arguably the best in the market. Its rank tracking and localization features provide you with unbiased reporting so you can the most accurate ranking for your target keywords. The tool seamlessly works best with Google Analytics so you can make better sense of the data from your blog’s progress.
Unlike other tools, AWR Cloud narrows down to offering you with rank tracking you can trust. Not to mention, it’s also one of the most affordable SEO reporting tools starting at $49/month for 2,000 keywords.
What people think about this tool: “Every single website owner out there who is looking to be found in search engines needs to be tracking their rankings. I believe that AWR Cloud is the best way to do that available at the moment. Simple to set up, easy to use, with a huge amount of data as you drill down.” – Jason Dilworth, jasondiworth.co.uk
There are lots of SEO reporting tools that you can use to track and measure your blog. However, each tool has their strengths that you can play too, depending on what you want to achieve from the report. Most important, the report should deliver the most actionable items to help you improve your blog. An SEO reporting tool is only as good as you find it useful. Based on the tools above, you’ll have your hands full on which one to choose so you can automate SEO reports for your blog.
What SEO reporting tool are you using that isn’t mentioned above? Share them with us by commenting below!
A Blogger’s Guide to Selling on eBay
Blogging is fun, from starting one and driving lots of traffic to it before enjoying the results. However, you’ve probably outgrown being a blogger throughout all those years.
If you’re looking to doing more than just write posts on your blog, then this post is perfect for you.
Offering products and services is nothing new to some popular bloggers. Sometimes, it makes sense to sell products based on what your niche is about. Problem is, most bloggers aren’t sure where to host their new ecommerce business.
It is not advisable to open a store section on their website. This is because your readers are usually on your blog to read and gain information, not buy.
Here’s where looking at a dedicated marketplace comes in.
You can just add a store section on your website and redirect or provide a link to a selling page like eBay.
Benefits of selling on eBay as a blogger
Selling on eBay is a good starting point for a blogger-turned-ecommerce owner. Here are the reasons why:
- eBay is a high traffic channel
- People go to eBay with the main purpose of buying
- Their website is secure, responsive, and reliable
- There are various payment options available
- You can build your blog’s audience through their market
Of course, what you sell should be highly relevant to your blog if you want to maintain your brand. For instance, if you blog about mountain climbing then selling mountain climbing gears makes sense.
How to start your eBay store
Here’s a checklist for you to tick before you launch your new venture:
Create your store name and URL
Shoppers remember your store name. Mirror what your blog name is to what your eBay store’s name and URL. Your store name also becomes your URL which matters for Google.
Optimize your product description
Product descriptions matter for Google, too.
You will about what the product’s attributes are like size, color, and weight, but you can also attach some keywords to it.
Since you’re a blogger, you probably know the importance of using keywords in all of your posts.
Identify delivery method
If you sell physical products, do not forget to add a shipping method to all your product listings. Not all of your items’ size and weight are the same, therefore, the costs for shipping them may vary.
Good thing in selling on eBay is you can ship your products from the comfort of your home. But you can always look for third-party fulfillment service partner that can do the work for you.
You can offer free postage as well which does attract more eyes to your listing.
Know the potential costs
eBay offers up to 50 free listings per month but if you’ve used up all of those listings, you’ll have to pay for the extra. If you only have a few products to sell then this choosing this option is your best bet.
Here are the four main fees that eBay has for their sellers:
- Insertion fees
- Final value fees
- Listing upgrades
- Fees in select categories
Be wary of scammers
eBay seems to be the playground of a lot of online scammers. Sometimes, buyers claim to overpay for their products accidentally and ask for it back. And when you wire the money back, you’ll find that the transfer was a fake and the scammer ran away with your money.
Learn how to spot scammers and remember these things at all times:
- When you are selling to someone you don’t know, it is better and safer to accept cash or credit card payments. Don’t just accept checks or money orders immediately.
- Never accept overpayments and people claiming to send what seems to be an invisible transfer to your account
- When meeting with a buyer through a local pick up, choose a place that is safe and accessible to the public. Never ever invite them to your home.
Focus on customer satisfaction
Your customers are the people you want to build trust and rapport with. Always keep your focus on satisfying your customers. For example, you can include handwritten messages or a small token on your product boxes.
There is one business called HEX that could build their customers’ loyalty through personalized thank you notes.
Respond to all feedbacks
How do you know if you have happy customers?
It usually shows in their comments and feedbacks.
You must address all feedbacks, good and bad, at all times. When people make the effort of leaving a review on your eBay store, never leave them hanging.
You should always thank people who gave you good reviews and recommended your products.
Reviews that criticizes your products can give you an insight on where to improve.
Mention your store on your blog posts
Even though you plan to sell on eBay, your blog’s audience is definitely your target buyers too. Don’t miss out on mentioning on some of your blogs you sell products they may be interested in.
Don’t go overboard and keep your sales talk on the side and not your main goal.
For example, you can have a few lines on your posts that talks about a specific gear you sell, you can just hyperlink your product’s URL and mention some of its features.
Remember that your readers are still on your blog to be informed and not to be sold to.
Selling on eBay as a blogger is tough but rewarding
Jason Acidre, owner of Avaris.io once said, “With eBay’s free listing option, it never hurts to open up a store even when you’re committed to a full-time blog.” For more information about selling on eBay here’s a guide for you to sell with confidence.
Just know and understand that the market is different and how you market your product is going to be different from how you market your blog.
Simple Link Building Ideas that All Bloggers Should Do
Ah, link building. It’s a real pain in the ass.
I won’t lie – link building is a tedious and time-consuming process of acquiring backlinks from authoritative websites so you can increase your organic search ranking for your target keyword.
This reason, unfortunately, is also what makes link building a vital part of your marketing strategy. You need to actively find websites where you can leave a link to your blog so you can drive more referral traffic from organic search.
“It is necessary for enhancing the SEO of any website because Google’s algorithms consider backlinks to be important ranking factors for rankings,” says SEO Resellers Canada. “It is a difficult and time-consuming process, which is why it is recommended to get it done by SEO experts.”
As a blogger, you probably don’t have any clue where to begin. After all, you’re all about writing content alone!
However, there are simple link building ideas that you can implement on your blog even if you have zero SEO experience.
In this post, I will detail the different link building ideas that you should start doing for your blog.
Optimize your content for target keyword
As a content creator, you need to make your posts the best they can possibly be. That includes optimizing their on-page factors to make your content found much easier on search engines.
To do this, you need to find the most appropriate target keyword for each post.
Assuming that you haven’t optimized your blog content yet with the right keyword, you need to find the search phrase that encapsulates what you have written about the topic. At the same time, you need to find a target keyword that people search on Google the most.
Striking the balance between both factors will help increase the chances of your blog post to rank for its keyword and attract more organic traffic.
Not to mention, you wouldn’t know which anchor text you’ll use to link out to your posts. Doing so allows you to further optimize your site and makes it easier for people to find on search engines!
To help you identify what keywords to target, Ubersuggest will not only help you find keyword ideas from your initial search, but it will also show the approximate search volume of each. It’s the first free SEO tool that reveals search volume outside of Google Keyword Planner, which only shows the range of volume search a keyword gets every month.
The information provided by Ubersuggest will help you find specific keyword phrases for your content with the most search volume. As a result, you not only increase your organic search traffic but also set the foundation of your link building strategy.
Part of being a blogger is forming relationships with other bloggers.
Doing so opens up your blog to more opportunities for your blog. You can collaborate with other bloggers on a blog post, join roundup posts where bloggers feature your answer to a particular question related to your expertise and many others that will help elevate your brand and drive more traffic to your site.
To get to this stage in your blogging career, you need to comment on the posts of bloggers.
And I don’t mean, “Thanks for this post!” kind of comments. You need to actually share insights that help move the discussion.
The best blog posts help engage with their respective audiences and encourage them to comment on what they think about the post. Some comments can even go as long as a blog post due to the sheer value and information that the user shared in his/her comment.
So where link building fit into commenting on blogs?
When commenting, you can include a link to your blog when filling out information about yourself before typing out your comments. The anchor text will be the name that you entered in the form, so when people click on your name, they will be led straight to your blog. This form of link building is a great way to increase awareness about your blog by association with your name.
If you want to link to your blog posts, you can include a link to it in the comment body. Normally, you paste the URL of your blog post after introducing to readers about your post that helps you explain the talking points in your comment.
That said, you can’t just link out to any random post on your blog. The page you plan on linking to in your comment must be relevant to readers so the blog owner will approve your comment and not flag it as spam.
For maximum effect, you need to comment on at least five blogs a day. It will help you become more visible in the blogging community especially if you’re sharing super actionable ideas and insights. At the same time, you can build links to your blog and posts if done correctly!
Related: 5 Tips for Better Blog Commenting
Use Drop my Link
As mentioned, link building is a thorn in my side as a blogger. I hate it. And yet I’m compelled to do it because it’s a crucial piece of the puzzle in my blog marketing strategy.
What grinds my gears about link building is the thought process that goes into coming up with a sustainable link building campaign.
To maximize the effect of your link building efforts, you need to organize the different tactics that you will use on top of the research that you will have to conduct to find opportunities that you can capitalize based on your competition.
Just typing out how to come up with a link building strategy is already tiring me out!
HOWEVER, there’s a way around all this process:
While there’s no doubt that developing a campaign using different and effective link building tactics is the best way to go, some bloggers don’t need a sophisticated plan to be easily found on Google.
All they need is Drop My Link.
Upon signing up for a free account, all you need to do is type your keyword and choose the category and footprint to reveal hundreds of link building opportunities for your blog from Google Search.
Whether it’s writing guest posts, commenting on blogs, acquiring links on resource pages, and more, Drop My Link takes away the guesswork from your link building. You can get straight to the meat by identifying sites where you can, as the name of the site says, drop your link!
Wrapping it up
It’s okay if you hate link building. However, you can’t hate it because it’s difficult to do. After all, if link building is easy, then everybody would be doing it!
The tips above should help get your feet wet on how to build links to your blog. Whether you’re a newbie blogger or just really lazy when it comes to building links (such as myself), then follow the ideas above and make the most out of your blogging.
How to Make Blogs from Boring Niches Interesting
Boring niches are a big pain-in-the-neck for writers. Not only are they tiring to write about, but they also lead to lower traffic.
Imagine writing a blog about metal work and flooring. Sure, there are things to write about, but it would mostly be technical stuff.
HOWEVER, it doesn’t have to be the case!
There’s a way around that, and it’s all about finding a way to make your content interesting for your target readers. When you do, you’ll be surprised that the niche you’re writing for isn’t that boring!
Read on to know how to make your “boring” niche blog appealing!
Creating content is all about understanding your target audience’s wants regardless of your niche. Here are the best ways to spruce up your content and make a niche interesting:
1. Write in First Person
Individuals do the writing, not the company. This is where most blogs got it wrong. Write in the first-person to connect efficiently with the customers. It isn’t natural to say “we” when you’re the only one writing. Say “I” instead — common sense, I should say!
An excellent example of this is Fiskarettes, a company that makes scissors, paper cutting tools, and gardening equipment. They didn’t settle for just that as they mingled with their community of customers.
This enabled them to have taglines that commonly use the word “you” to have a more personalized connection with their customers. Though this sounds simple, using the right choice of words, in this case, pronouns, has a significant effect on your business’ salability.
Give a personalized approach to your clients or readers to improve your connection with them. Also, encourage your customers to be active in the community just like what Fiskarettes did. It’s all about socializing with them, and that’s what makes their boring niche interesting.
2. Tell a story
Storytelling is a powerful tool that can make your boring niche interesting. Think of it as a dynamic strategy that motivates the reader to finish the entire article. Stories like a failed launch, a five-year-slump, or a rags-to-riches story are fascinating to read. Sprinkle these stories on your blog, and you’ll surely get more traffic.
Salesforce is a good example of a business that uses the power of storytelling to capture people’s attention. It’s a blog that gives social media tutorials. However, it does more than that as it does it by diversifying their content.
They create how-to guides, do expert interviews, and come up with case studies which create “fluidity” in their content. Readers are then curious and motivated enough to continue reading up to their heart’s content.
Telling a story makes your content easy-to-read. Be straightforward and describe a product or issue in the simplest way possible. Strip away all the technicalities and explain it as it is. What it is, how it works, and the benefits you can get are the essential parts of an article. Also, inject a bit of fun to lighten up the mood.
3. Provide statistics
Providing statistics makes something look big. Describing how a hydroelectric power plant works won’t get you lots of readers. But if you said that this hydroelectric power plant could power 5 million homes, then that would surely capture people’s attention. Look for huge points and make a big deal out of it.
Kogan, an online electronics store draws inspiration from this strategy. They have a gimmick where they tax a client if it’s found out that they’re using Internet Explorer.
Though they don’t use numbers, it’s evident that many people can attest to the “inefficiency” of the browser.
Technical blogs are full of “unrelatable” information for common people. You can solve this problem by using stats. Find a statistic of a certain issue and use it as a title. “How One Article Got Viewed 1M Times Through Facebook” will capture everyone’s attention even if the content features a lot of technical information. Graphs, inside information, and tables are also sure-fire ways to make your readers interested.
4. Get a personality
Blogs that talk about tech, finance, and B2Bs are the less attractive of niches. The reason is that bloggers think that these areas are exclusively for their readers — tech enthusiasts, analysts, and entrepreneurs. It then becomes an “undecipherable” article that only a few people can understand. Little do they know that there are also other people who want to learn from it!
Ukelele Hunt is a site that’s all about ukeleles. And we all know that not everyone is into ukes! So what they did was that they developed their personality.
They have their distinct theme and vibe that you’ll only find in them. They also have their blog, tutorials, chord guides, reviews, and even eBooks — all with the Ukelele Hunt brand.
Talk in a personal voice, but don’t sacrifice professionalism. You can be professional, but don’t be too formal, rigid, or stiff. Talk like how a person talks to another person. Share real-life examples if needed, and always write with attitude and emotions. This gives your blog post a more personal touch to it.
Also, make your blog interactive. It makes your blog appealing. Engage with your readers and make them participate in your blog. You can do this by having viewing options where your readers can change how they want to read your article. It could be a slider, read more button, or call-to-action popups.
Content is the lifeblood of blogs, but it doesn’t mean that it’s the only important thing. Web design also plays a huge role in a blog’s attractiveness. Make sure that your blog isn’t overly stuffed with unnecessary buttons and features. Keep it simple but sleek, compact but jam-packed with useful features. The header, content area, footer, and sidebar are all you need. Also be up-to-date with the latest web design trends.
Take for example Elite Legal Marketing, a digital marketing firm that specializes in web design, SEO, and content production. Their site features all these characteristics.
This makes the blog user-friendly, attractive, and more likely to get more leads. Their site entices people to avail their services even if the niche they’re specializing in isn’t that popular. It’s not about the niche; it’s about how you use that niche to your advantage!
Leave a mark on social media
You’d be missing out a huge market if you won’t use social media. There are 2.5 billion active social media users, and each of them can be your follower. Using social media makes your blog reachable, knowing that almost everyone is into it. Promote your content on targeted channels where your audience is found. Doing so makes follower interaction and acquisition easier.
Take for example Fractl, a content marketing agency that uses social media to rake in higher traffic. They have this strategy called “tangential” marketing where they write about things that aren’t offered by the business. Surprisingly, they get lots of social shares, proving that the content is interesting. This enables them to expand and make their niche more attractive.
Your niche might not be that popular, but you can use that to your advantage with the help of social media. You have fewer competitors when promoting a blog who’s niche isn’t that entertaining. Let’s say you have a blog that sells different kinds of cactus. You then create social media accounts on different networks. Getting followers and clients is a piece-of-cake. It’s easier for you to penetrate the market because there are not many cactus businesses online.
Everything is possible if you know how. Boring niches might be “irredeemable,” but with the help of this article, you can turn it into something more interesting. Just remember to write with attitude, be professional, and be creative as possible. A good example would be to adapt to the niche market and audience. Know what they like and give it to them. When you do, then your blog will surely gain traffic (lots of it).
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