This was written as a proposal for a project last year. I thought I would share the outlines for readers interested in blogging part- or full-time or looking to develop a portfolio for an existing static site.
Are you considering having a blog to complement your existing website? Do you need help to get started with the whole blogging thing? If so, then this paper outlines the basic idea in section 1; the steps to implementing the program in section 2; and Developing your Properties in section 3.
1. A BLOG: A natural traffic magnet
I think the best way to attract traffic to your website would be to use a blog as a blog has a natural advantage over a static site. In fact, a blog can attract traffic with quality posting as long as you have something to say of interest to people. Additionally, having a blog allows you to build traffic through RSS Feeds, comments, trackbacks and a whole host of online aggregators and web 2.0 media.
This would be the fastest approach to gaining traffic, though when I say fast it would be some months to build up a following. The blog would need an identifiable persona that can play off the notion of credit cards and build some fun into the whole process of searching, applying for and using credit cards. It is also a way to bring people BACK to the website… otherwise you may see traffic apply for cards and NEVER come back because they can’t find or don’t remember the website.
2. Steps to Implementation
- First, Setting Up A Blog. Establish a blog (WordPress 2.7) with a bunch of themes, and a selection of plugins in a subdirectory of your main website. Set up a blog as integral part of your site, linked from an obvious place in the top of the bar and in a very similar ‘theme’ to the website. The blog of course would have links to the rest of the site as well.
- Second, Metrics. Establish some metrics as a base from which to start. The metrics would help establish tracking and even help target customers to the offers in the other part of the site.
- Third, Regular Posting. Start a regular posting schedule. With some initial content, say 20 posts that are quality and not too long, begin the next step. Do make sure your content is unique, well written. It doesn’t have to be long, but it has to be pertinent.
- Fourth, Publicity. Have the blog join all sorts of Web2.0 communities to gain friends/traffic, such as Technorati, and several other blog services. This would certainly help but it would require some weeks or even months of work. There are a number of other tips and tricks that can help to establish a blog that can drive traffic to your website.
- Fifth, Capitalize on the Traffic. This is where your efforts on the website would pay off by capitalizing on the resultant traffic. Slowly add advertising in whatever form you think is appropriate for your audience. Don’t go overboard.
3. Developing your Property
There are tons of new ways of getting traffic these days: Twitter, Flickr, Squidoo, Hubpages, Technorati,… while it’s not important to stay on top of them all. There are just too many to start with. You may want to pick a few of the services, and learn how to use them. Each one you learn paves the way for a future project, traffic or opportunities.
Much is made of Web 2.0, and much is hot air. But you may find that there are valuable tie-ins to your proposed blog from communities of like-minded people. Then you’ll find that Web 2.0 really works.
Obviously you have to decide if this is a route you want to take, whether it is worth spending so much money on your website, and what metrics you will need to use to evaluate success or failure. I do believe that adding a blog can really add a whole new dynamic to your existing site. But it isn’t an instant success. It needs application, focus, and time.