During the research, I am doing for my Online Marketing Guide I came across a common problem, one that I have been facing.
In the past, this blog used to get around 10,000 unique visitors to technical posts. It ranked rather well in google and that is what I can attribute most of the traffic to. However, since I took the blog down for about 1 year my ranking dropped, but I realized so did the landscape. I have found many technical blogs no longer get the traffic they once enjoyed.
This traffic can be motivating in itself to keep going and trying things out. It gives us clues about what people are interested in and helps drive us forward when things seem hard.
So where did it all go?
While I feel like I am pointing a finger of blame here… I am bringing you a solution in just a moment.
But it is the rise of sites like Quora and StackExchange that I would say is directly responsible for this drop in traffic (there are others but I actually like these, I even got a “Famous Question” award recently).
What happens now is partially speculation on my part but it makes sense.
First, I think people are answering questions on these sites because it is easier to have a question posed and answer it. It is much harder to identify a problem and figure out the solution and report on that.
Second, I think people instead of searching Google (or other) to find the answers or information they are looking for now head straight to the question sites to ask their question. Quora actually lets you type your question in and then if a similar enough answer pops up you would just click on it.
Don’t get me wrong I love these sites. While I do think they are changing the landscape of the internet we have grown accustomed to over the last 10 years or so when blogging and podcasting seemed to be “the thing”. This is the natural trend of things. But it doesn’t mean blogs are dead or anything like that.
And I think the solution is rather simple. If you are looking for traffic then you should be answering questions on these sites, blogging about your answers and linking back to your blog where appropriate. Simple as that.
Find things to answer and answer them well. Provide more in-depth tutorials, explanations, or advice on your blog and link back where you are allowed and it will not be seen as spammy. And that means spammy here and now but also in the future.
These sites also offer a unique opportunity to those that are smart, in that they will show you the trend. They do a better job than Google ever did of giving you insight into what people want to know right now. They let you make an instant connection and then if you are able to link back give you the traffic you have been looking for. Win-Win in my book.
I wanted to get this out there because it has been so long!
Basically, I have been hard at work as you have you and like everyone in our predicament I end up saying “I’m too busy.” <–(a lot)
But I decided I have to make some time to make things happen
If you don’t know my wife and I recently moved back to Tulsa. While this has been so much easier giving us more time to see each other and less time driving and expense it also means I have been doing a lot of “catching up” if we can call it that. We also still regularly travel back to Muskogee to see friends, customers, and family.
Working on Few Things
Something that I have been putting off for over a year now is working on the Hektechnologies website and the Better PC Health website. I need to fix the design, layout, and copy. So I have started on that, but in the process, I started something else. Well, 3x something else:
1st – The Ultimate Guide to Building a WordPress Business website – This will be interesting because unlike most blog posts and articles that are posted on completion I have posted this as I work on it and update it each time I make changes. So far I have reorganized the content more than once and rewritten a few things, but it gets better each time. When done I will turn it into an e-book and Udemy course, but also leave the free guide posted right where it is.
2nd – The Ultimate Guide to Online Marketing – Like the WordPress guide I am posting this one as it is developed. I think this one will take much longer as I want to cover everything and at the end leave readers with a checklist of sorts that they can apply with reasonable success.
And Working on Other Things
Beyond that, I have several other things going including working at a company called Techsico doing a really cool program that connects their web driven project management system directly into QuickBooks. This removes human error in the data entry process and makes syncing data a breeze. I plan on showcasing the features in the near future.
In order to brush up on my marketing knowledge, I wanted to challenge myself. So on my personal YouTube channel, I am doing live videos discussing popular Online Marketing articles from around the web. It should be interesting and worth subscribing. So please check it out and let me know what you think. If you didn’t know there is also an official Hektechnologies YouTube where I post helpful WordPress, business, and developer/programming videos.
One last thing to mention, if you made it this far then maybe you’d like to check out another project that I have been hard at work on. Uniquelahoma is a website dedicated to featuring the Uniqueness of Oklahoma. I encourage you to take a look!
Hope to talk to you guys again soon,
PS If you didn’t catch it the title it’s backward sometimes it takes a little longer and we need to work a little harder to get that dollar.
The problem with your awesome technical blog that exposes new methods and techniques of doing things is that someone just copied an excerpt from your latest post. They posted it verbatim to Quora or Stack Exchange. Trust me these sites have way more domain authority than you and they will take your “random” traffic.
But I think I have some solutions to this problem especially since the name of the game is to keep progressing and moving forward. So if you are missing traffic and wonder why. You are putting out great content but not able to hit the numbers you did 1 or 2 years ago. I think I have a solution. It will come in a later post since I have to get to work now.
You may have noticed some interesting looking, but incomplete posts that I have put out recently. This is ok. It is intentionally done this way. Partly as an experiment related to online marketing and the current state of SEO. Beyond that, it is an experiment on how people consume content and the best way to deliver knowledge. I hope you find these posts useful and possibly entertaining.
I also want you to comment and interact with the things you are interested in. I promise it will all work better if you get involved.
I will be developing my Udemy course here on my blog this means you will get most if not all of the content free by following this post. Thank you for looking there is a lot more to be added over the next several months.
Over the last several days while considering edits to make where to head next I realized something very important. This guide will not serve anyone as well as it could or should unless I make an effort to niche it down enough that it is not only simple but effective.
For this reason, I have determined this first guide will cover Online Marketing for Service-based businesses such as consultants, web builders, and marketers. In the future, I will develop more guides that will incorporate the changes needed for each industry.
The reason I have picked the industry I have is that they will see the greatest immediate impact from getting to know and understand their customers. This could also apply to some local services such as law firms, coaches, and alike. We shall see as the guide develops.
Your company, startup, or even personal brand needs a solid plan for marketing online. Each path leads to its own challenges and needs. I am working to design this guide in such a way that you will be able to plug in the parameters of your needs and then see the path you should follow. Until this guide is completed with that ability I will be posting everything related to online marketing in a start to finish fashion that will allow you to build your own solid plan.
Where to Start
As I develope this guide you will see major changes, but some tenets of marketing shouldn’t ever be changed. Some of these have only been learned more recently while others take on the form of almost an ancient knowledge. The first tenet you will learn is simple:
Start With The Customer
*Additionally I will be working to ensure what I write about is implemented on this blog at a minimum. Each thing I will talk about will be tested somewhere if not here. To see the latest changes check out my change log (bottom of the page for now)
Customers: Who is your Dream Client?
Understanding who your customers are or who you would like them to be is a large part of the battle. The best resource for working through this I have ever found is Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid. He has developed an entire process that will take you cleanly through understanding who it is you would like to work with, server, and overall deliver results to.
We are going to take a stunted approach to this here and simply ask a few questions:
Who would you love to work with?
What kinds of problems do they have?
Where do these people hang out? Where do they get their information?
How can you help them?
Now we need to match this to your current business. Are you working with the people who you would most like to work with? Sometimes the answer is a very hard no. Personally, I have been down this road and it begs you to ask some specific questions such as:
If these are not my ideal clients how long do I want to keep this up?
Am I making enough money that it is truly worth it?
Do I love what I am doing?
Can I do what I love while serving the “right” clients? (Hint: The answer is nearly always yes)
Next, we will look at building your customer story and how it is going to help you find your ideal clients.
Customers: Building a Customer Story
Knowing where your dream clients are is just as important as identifying them. What good is it to know you want to help veterans if you don’t know where or how to find them. I have not fully introduced the concept of the customer story yet. So let’s take a quick look and I will add more details later. This process helps alot when used properly, and I will get into more details later.
Customer stories are all about making our ideal clients as real as if they were standing in the room with us. Our brains are kind of funny in that if I asked you to tell me ‘what age range is your customer base’ you might look at me perplexed. This is normal.
To get around this problem we build an ideal client then it is easier for us to make more accurate adjustments almost like doing it backwards.
“my ideal client is a 34 year old career driven marketer that is making progress but knows they could be doing so much more. They have been in marketing for at least 10 years and understand the major changes that have happened over that time while also seeing the things that have remained the same.”
Now it is a little easier to come back and say looking at the ideal client model and say ‘my customer base age range is approx 29-50’. We arrive at that number knowing that is going to be hard for someone much younger to fit inside our 10 year model, and anyone much older might be less likely to keep up with the current trends. (If this offends you then you might fall outside of my ideal client model 😉 )
Customers: How Will You Serve Them?
It might seem strange to start with the customer. You might already be saying, “I’m serving the wrong people.” If this is the case it is time to make some changes. The reasoning is simple here.
You only have one life to life and if you plan on living it effectively that should mean doing your best work.
The key to this is that you define what your best work is. You choose each day when you say no to one thing and yes to another. This applies to whom you choose each day that you will work with as well.
So ask yourself, take some time to think on it: “How am I going to best serve my Dream Client?”
Customers: Where “is” Your Dream Client?
Typically we know where our clients are. However, I find it difficult sometimes and more to the point I hear from my clients a often, that they do not know where their dream client is. A better way of saying this is possibly they do not know how they can effectively communicate with their client.
This is one of the major differences in the online vs IRL, In Real Live, when you are IRL you can typically walk right up to the person you need to talk with and have a conversation. Your marketing, or rather salesmanship, in this scenario may or may not be effective, but the main point is you can literally point to and directly talk with the person you need to see.
However, when we are talking about online it is important to realize that the same person you can talk with while you are in the same room will never see your carefully planned out Facebook campaign and advertising if they do not use Facebook.
More than once in helping someone with their marketing campaign some simple questions and a little reconnaissance can go a long way.
Doing Proper Recon Work
For the purposes of moving things along I will fill this section out in more detail later, however here are some prime examples of how you can ensure your Dream Client is where you think they are.
Google/Bing/Other – The engine you use is not important and often I will use different ones in the hopes of getting different results. But you want to start out by searching for the product or service you are about to offer and see if any special groups pop up such as forums, targeted fan websites, blogs, or other interesting results that might help you find your Dream Clients faster. (example to come later) Think of things like:
Have any major news articles were published in this space? Do any peoples names keep popping up? etc
Facebook – Just the same as searching on Google only this time you are looking for Pages, Groups, and Influencers in your space. You may find a few people are posting often about your topic/niche now you should investigate. Are they posting as a potential competitor to you? Are they a fan? For the Pages and Groups which ones seem to be most active? Which has the largest following?
(use this same method for any social network such as Twitter, Linkedin, etc..)
These are the changes I am making to the site as a whole during the progress of writing this post. *This log was started a little late and represents changes as of 9/23/2017
Added push notification for updates and new posts
Integrate Facebook and G+ comments (testing different methods)
This morning for no apparent reason I woke up around 6:10 am and the first thought I had when I got up was, “It seems pretty bright for being 6.” Then I was reminded of how my granddad used to always announce with excitement every year sometime around now, “This is the longest day of the year!”
While I missed the summer solstice this year, June 20th. The early morning light reminded me that he is gone, and reminded me of all the little things he would do that at the time I didn’t think much of but now I miss.
I hope everyone is doing well make sure you tell someone you love that you love them.
What I have come to realize is true. At some point when I try to do too much at once. I really do nothing at all.
Now here we are trying to scale back on the amount of stuff we own and the things we are doing (we being Sherece and me). You’d think it would be as easy as just throwing a few things out and saying no to new things that come along but it is not always that easy.
Anyhow there is no doubt about it, we are busy right now. Things are hectic, but we press on and get through. Today was a nice day…
We spent some time looking at apartments and finding ways to save some money. It was nice just to spend some time with my wife more or less just hanging out. All that and I still managed to actually get some things done.
Friday, on the other hand, was a disaster of sorts! Getting our tag for our car was its own special kind of drama. I won’t go into details but I will say I will be happy if I never purchase a new car again. 👿
Now, this post has been way more personal than typically you have seen from me, but I used to do this kind of thing far more often. I think I wouldn’t mind doing so regularly. If I at least get into the habit of banging out another post every now and then maybe I will just sit down and write to the backlog I have created of posts I want to write. Yeah…. I have lots of them and while I kicking some things to the curb posting help articles, reviews, and blog type stuff, in general, is something I want to try to do more often.