Tim Ferriss on Building Traffic to a Blog

Tim Ferriss, if you don't already know, is a best selling author for the Four Hour Work Week, Princeton graduate and popular blogger. I enjoy reading his blog and, when I get a chance, watching videos of his presentations. In this presentation, at WordCamp San Francisco, in 2009, Ferriss tells his secrets to becoming a successful blogger, covering the topics of search engine optimization (SEO), research, writing and others.

One, not moderately interesting, point he addresses are reasons to blog. Which I find is the same reasons why I'm blogging, to generate feedback and interesting contacts. I think of it as going to a bar, but filtering out conversations you don't want to have.

Not in the order Ferriss uses, he heavily focuses on blog writing, referencing Tucker Max, another best selling author. A few interesting points are: developing a voice( Alex Kotloqitz, Norma Sims and Hunter S. Thompson are masters at introducing voice into there writing); don't write what the reader wants because they don't know what they will like; and don't write for SEO in the first draft.

Here is an example of writing for SEO and writing only for SEO, on the topic of Utica Club beer
Only SEO:
Utica Club beer
is a XX pure pilsener-beer. And, there are no other Utica Club like beers that will taste like Utica Club. Utica Club uses the best hops, for Utica Clubs robust flavor.

Utica Club beer goes through two filtering processes, to create it's robust flavor. That's why we call it a XX pure pilsener-beer. Try to find a comparable pilsener! I dare ya.
Some people might overuse key words and produce excessive bold text for the purpose of indexing. You do want to consider how the body copy is indexed; but, your readers won't come back if you're writing drivel.

As for research, Ferriss list some quality resources for gathering both quantitative and qualitative data/feedback. If you don't want to watch his video, and to make it easy for you, here are the links: slinkset.com, twitter.com (primary research), crazyegg.com and Google Analytics. He mentions others, but these are fantastic resources.

Lastly (but not finally), he advises on the organization and inclusion of the many facets of a blog (e.g. RSS feeds, Labels, etc.). This is something I haven't focused on enough. Please! Include a Tag Cloud or category system in your blog. It will improve your pages Click Through Rate (CTR). I mention this because it's a new revelation to me. And, damn it! It works.

If you're not familiar with some of the terms he uses, email me with any questions, and I'll gladly explain or define anything from Ferriss's presentation.



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