Blogging Lessons I Learnt In 2010

. . . and that's how i went insane
Creative Commons License photo credit: Lee Nachtigal

2010 was an interesting year for me across a number of areas. It was challenging in my financial planning business as I worked my butt off to help clients recover from the GFC. In the internet marketing world I achieved some of the goals that I set for myself earlier in the year, and I learnt many valuable lessons. I’ll share some of them here.

Have a clear set of keywords that you want to be found for.

In 2010 I sat down with the Google keyword tool and Market Samurai and spent a lot of time deciding on the keywords I wanted to rank for. In my financial planning business I had one keyword that was a priority and I’m happy to say that I’m number one for that keyword in my geographic area.

I set up a new blog in another niche and quickly ranked well for a couple of important keywords.

Deciding on a small set of keywords helped me become more focussed in my article writing, and helped me get smarter with page titles etc.

I Discovered You Tube!

Well, I new it existed beforehand, but I’d never taken the time to set up my channel. This year I took time to learn more about using You Tube, added a few videos and did a few different things that got my channel a page rank of 4! I’ll write more on this in future articles.

I’m no expert on You Tube, but videos will become a bigger focus over the next 12 months as I seek to rank well for multiple sites / pages for certain keywords.

I Built Up My Twitter Followers.

Using some of the tips I learnt from the Profit Geyser course, I developed a strategy for using Twitter that works for me. I’m using Tweet Adder to find people to follow, and HootSuite to manage my daily interactions.

I decided to focus on Twitter this year as I had a goal to increase traffic to my site. Twitter allows me to go and find people who may be interested in my site, rather than doing nothing and waiting for people to find me via Google.

I’m happy with my Twitter progress this year – I ended the year with a little over 9,000 followers.

Traffic, Traffic and More Traffic

There’s no point in writing good content if no-one reads it (not even my mum). So I set out to increase my site traffic.

I’ve already mentioned how I focussed on a small range of keywords and wrote articles around those terms. Twitter was also a great way to build up traffic – around 25% of my traffic now comes from Twitter.

I had a goal to write a few guest posts as another way to get noticed and I was fortunate to have my first guest post published on ProBlogger in September. I got a good increase in traffic over the next few days, but the bigger benefit was that it got me noticed.

As a result of the guest post, I was contacted by Srini from BlogCastFM who asked me to do an interview with them.  As a result of that interview, I received more traffic (and discovered a great new podcast).

I also added more articles to Ezine articles – these gave me a new audience and few were re-published elsewhere, providing me with additional backlinks.

Looking Good

I’ve been using Headway Theme for a while and in 2010 set out to learn more about it. My financial planning site was originally a combination of a standard Dreamweaver site with a blog attached to it. I was a bit sick of the way the main site was difficult to update, and I wanted to make sure the SEO was set up properly, so I set out to convert the entire site to WordPress using Headway as the theme.  It took a few hours of work to do (ok a few days), I found the forum very helpful and I also learnt a bit more about HTML and CSS.

When you get used to a WordPress theme, you tend to forget what features relate to the theme, and what are part of WordPress.  With the recent upgrade, the Headway developers have improved the theme and reduced the number of plugins I need to use.  The Headway SEO options are fantastic, the design options rock and it’s now so much easier to use.

I also changed the look of this blog and used the guys at LogoNerds to get a logo designed. I used them on another blog and they came up with an awesome design. I’m determined to build the Blogger Business Plan brand over the coming years and having a decent logo and a professional looking website is one way to do this.

Community is Good

I’ve spent a lot of time over at the Warrior Forum, reading and contributing to some of the discussions. I’ve learnt a lot for free from some of the discussions. I’ve bought some of the Warrior Special Offers and been disappointed by some, and very surprised by the quality of others.

Which brings me on to my final two points….

The Next Best Thing Will Be Released Next Week

Well, maybe not, but it’s a sure bet that next week a new internet marketing product will be released that promises to change the internet marketing world forever. This year it was all about Facebook advertising, Mobile advertising, Offline consulting and how to game Google.

2011 will have it’s own fads.

The important thing is for you to figure out what strategy you want to take to achieve your goals, and stick to it.

Focus

It’s so easy to go from fad to fad and never achieve anything.

Last year I focussed on a few key areas and saw results. This year I’ll expand on those areas and do a few extra things, but I’ll accept that there’s not enough hours in the day to do all the things that I’d like to do.

The best lesson I learnt in 2010 was to focus on one or two things and do them well.

People Rock

Finally, the thing I love most about blogging is the interaction.

As a result of my guest post (and my Twitter use), I met some cool bloggers who are doing great things online.

Here are just a few of the wonderful, helpful bloggers I’ve discovered over the past 12 months.

Eddie Gear has a great blog on Microsoft 2010, Word etc.

Tristan over at BloggingBookshelf.com is a blogging machine. He posts every day, and makes the effort to reply to every comment left on his blog.

I first came across Kim Roach on the Warrior Forum. She’s got a lot of great ideas and is worth following.

The Final Bonus Point – Relax!

OK, this really is the last point!

Relax.

I’ve just spent the past three weeks in New Zealand with my wife and two kids. We had a great time away and saw many amazing things.

We left two days after Christmas, so things were pretty busy in the last part of December.

I had good intentions of writing some posts in advance, and some while I was away, but it never happened.

A year ago I would have got stressed about that and put myself under more pressure. Not now. I’ve decided that it’s ok to relax. Whilst I find blogging to be a good way to wind down at night, when I was away it was even more relaxing to do nothing.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the business of our lives that we forget to stop, take a deep breath, and just enjoy things that are important to us.

What Did You Learn?

So there’s some of the things I’ve learnt over the past year.

What did you learn in 2010, and what will you do differently this year?

Leave a comment below.

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About

Allan lives in Adelaide, South Australia with his wife and two boys. He is the founder of Blogger Business Plan and loves helping bloggers learn how to transform their blogs from hobbies into sustainable businesses.
When he's not blogging or working in his financial planning business, you'll find Allan playing guitar, reading or coaching his son's soccer team.

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5 Responses to Blogging Lessons I Learnt In 2010
  1. Eddie gear
    January 27, 2011 | 11:06 pm

    Hi Allan,

    Thanks for the mention. Its really great to see my name on your site. Its been great interacting with you. I am working on a ebook that I might contact you about in the following days.

    Cheers and Good Luck.

    • Allan Ward
      January 28, 2011 | 9:24 am

      Hey Eddie,

      Happy new year to you! Happy to mention you – I’m learning a lot through your blog.I’m even starting to play around with Windows Live Writer now that I’ve got a PC with Win 7.

      Good luck with the ebook. Let me know if I can help in any way.

      Allan

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eddie Gear, Simon Woodford and Allan Ward, Allan Ward. Allan Ward said: From my blog Blogging Lessons I Learnt In 2010 http://bit.ly/huK2Bl #blogging […]

  3. Shaun
    January 28, 2011 | 10:46 pm

    Hey Allan,

    Some good tips in there. I’ve definitely discovered that blogging requires focus, its so easy to get caught up reading all the great content around the place and forget about doing what is important!

    Hope you have a great 2011

  4. Jen
    September 7, 2012 | 7:38 pm

    Glad you had a nice holiday in New Zealand. Thank you for a wonderful post :-)

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