The first set of tips are taken from Tims fabulous video ‘How To Build A High Traffic Blog Without Killing Yourself’. Even if you aren’t a fan of Ferriss, he provides some really fantastic ideas.
1. Change categories to topics
I would never have thought of this and its such an obvious piece of advice. Not everyone who lands on your blog understands how the navigation works. The term ‘topics’ is a lot clearer than categories.
2. Don’t draw attention to your twitter status.
Tim described this as ‘faciliating a mass exodus from your blog, particularly from first timers’. I can see this especially being a problem if you post losts of links in your twitter account. I now think it may be better to simply draw attention to your social media accounts instead of the content of those accounts.
3. Omit the dates on older posts
This is something I have seen so many bloggers now doing. Tim said that new visitors are biased towards new material, and I can see how this will affect someones perception of your blog. You may have to touch the theme editor to do this.
4. Monitor your biorythyms and find your best writing time.
I never knew what a biorythym was, but this is something I’ve been trying to do. I’ve identified the times when I’m most productive and try to do the bulk of my writing during those times. I use the rest of my time to collect data, check stats and muck around on social media sites.
5. Income isn’t your only currency.
This is a really awesome statement. He talked about you having authority and audience – the right audience. There are many intangible benefits to blogging and not all them fall into the income category.
6. Edit your important posts by hand
This is something I haven’t done. It was hard to believe I didn’t think of it – this technique worked very well during my uni years. I’ll be trialling this and reporting on the outcome.
7. Ignore seo for first draft
This is very useful, especially for bloggers that are uncertain about optimizing for search engines. I don’t optimize my posts for search engines but this is something I wil be experimenting with.
8. You should only measure the things that matter
Tim gave this advice in relation to checking your stats. This is very useful to new bloggers as many check their statistics too often and rely on the information that isn’t really relevant.
9. Have an updatable greatest hits list
Tim recommended that you have an updatable list instead of a permanent one. He said a permanent list was a self fulfilling prophecy and may encourage the perception that you will never do better.
10. If you have advertising on your site, dont push people towards your RSS feed
I can see the logic here, but it does depend on your main sources of revenue. An alternate method may be having a twitter account dedicated to your blog posts, so people can still get immediate updates.
11. Use slinkset as your own personal digg
I have yet to use slinkset but I will be trialling it and posting about my results. Its promoted as being able to create your own social news site in seconds. I can see this being useful for both personal research and industry use.
12. Use evernote to save research
I haven’t used Evernote, but I am interested in using it. I would love to read how others are using it.
13. Never attack people on your blog
Tim said that this attracts the wrong type of people and recommended that you write about the problem and not the person. This is very useful and can show that you have class. It can really strengthen your personal brand, rather than potentially damage it.
14. Short is good when it comes to video
This is something that I have found with my own video use – I also prefer a text option where possible.
15. Stumbleupon traffic is one of the best sources of paid advertising
This was fascinating to hear and is something I’m keen to experiment with. He said that it provides a slow trickle of high quality traffic. I’d be interested in comparing this to normal stumbleupon traffic and will be doing experiments in the future
16. Find images from flickr using creative commons
He recommended that you search by most interesting. I’ve read about this and people say that if you want professional images, it is quicker to search on stock image sites. However flickr can provide free and quirky images.
17. Adopt the living room method when it comes to comments.
He placed the comment rules at the top and bottom of the comments. This is something I’m thinking of adopting as I really want to eliminate spam and irrelevant comments.
18. Don’t take advice from people you don’t want to emulate
This has been repeated many times and is something that I have adopted. I have had so much success since concentrating on learning from the people who have what I want.
19. Identify and thank commenters on occasion in main blog posts.
Make them famous (even for one post) and make it clear that you’re reading the comments, especially to those who have never left one because they assume you don’t.”
This has worked very well for some bloggers. It can show that they can spot and encourage talent.
20. Post less to be read more.
Tim included this as an uncommon timesaver for bloggers
No matter how good your material is, too much of it can cause feed-overwhelm and unsubscribes. Based on input from close to a dozen top bloggers I’ve interviewed, it takes an average of three days for a new post to propagate well in the blogosphere. If you write too often, pushing down the previous post and its visibility, you decrease the reach of each post, run the risk of increasing unsubscribes, and create more work for yourself. Test posting 2-4 times per week—my preference is two—and don’t feel compelled to keep up with the frequency “you have to post three times before lunch” Joneses. Quality, not quantity, is what spreads.
I have seen this work very well for some people but it depends on the type of blog you have. I would do research and testing before implementing this.
21. Tweak headlines after posting
Tim gave this tip in an interview on Problogger
I’ll also tweak headlines after a post has gone up to see if it triggers any spikes. Not good for Google rank, but great for quick and dirty testing. I’ll note here that, in my experience, you should look at unsubscribes more than new subscribes. Why? It’s easier to determine why people have quit vs. jumped onboard. Usually, it’s bad headlines, bad copy, or too many unhelpful comments, which triggers too many worthless email to readers.
This is something I didn’t think of, but it is a free way of doing a few tests. I’d be interested in reading more about this issue.
Two more tips
He gave the following two tips about getting promotion. They were very useful if you are trying to become a problogger and want to have a strong pressence offline.
22. For promotion, I recommend becoming an quoted expert first, using something like ProfNet to figure out what journalists are working on. PR Leads is a good outfit: www.prleads.com or, if you want to get an extra month through me, www.prleads.com/discountpage
23. Second, I recommend spending $500-1500 on “media training,” to both train for offline Q&As, but also to get a reel of yourself that you can use to sell yourself as a guest to TV producers. You can see a demo reel I did in LA at http://www.timferriss.com/dev/ferriss-multimedia.htm.
24. Look at the blogrolls of prominent bloggers and look for names you don’t recognize
These are often thought leaders who are well-respected but perhaps not hard-core bloggers. A friend at SXSW told me I had to meet a guy named Brian Oberkirch, so I tracked him down at the event. Super cool guy, and we hit it off. He recently interviewed me for his blog, which is high quality and popular but not huge, and — unbenowst to me — he is friends with Merlin Mann of 43Folders. Brian’s post, and thus my book, then ended up on 43Folders. Moral of the story? Don’t be a traffic bigot. Seek out smart, original thinkers and look for lateral degrees of separation.
This is something I hae started doing and it has been really useful of finding related and relevant content. It has helped enormously with my next post.
25. Don’t post and read at the same time.
Tim included this as one of 5 ways to use twitter without twitter owning you
Here’s the problem with following others, as fun as it can be.
You decide to make a quick post on Twitter.com, but then you notice the stream of updates from the people you follow. Then you click “older” a few times and peruse a few quick links like “World’s fattest cat (pic)”. Before you know it, 30 minutes have passed and you have forgotten what you were going to post, as well as your to-do list. Repeat this whenever your mind wanders throughout the day = nothing done.
I set aside specific times on twitter to procrastinate and enjoy having a wide range of interesting tweets to choose from. But I respect Tims advice.