I thought it would be interesting to do a quick post, just before we begin the 2009 Thirty Day Challenge.  Over the next 30 days, we’ll learn a lot – about a lot of different topics.  We’ll hear about things like markets and niches, keywords and conversions – and one of those topics will be traffic.

Now this blog is not really focused on conversions – it’s a resource, and as such it gets a little bit of traffic.

A few months ago, I got an opportunity to use a tool to help with bookmarks and backlinks.  It’s called “Traffic Bug” – let’s see what happened to traffic once I started using it:

Traffic Stats Before And After Traffic Bug

Traffic Stats Before And After Traffic Bug

I started using Traffic Bug in May, 2009 – you can see what happened in June and July…

From an average of about 300 visitors per month (September through May) to exactly 2,000 visitors in the month of July.

Is it all from Traffic Bug? Probably not entirely – there were also a few important mentions and links from the 30DC forums. But the fact is, I got serious about backlinks and bookmarks in May by using Traffic Bug – and this picture is worth at least a thousand words…

When we’re learning about the important of bookmarks, directory submissions and backlinks, remember how important they really are when it comes to YOUR site’s traffic.

And best of luck to you throughout the 2009 Thirty Day Challenge

-Steve

Earlier, I was reading this post from Seth Godin:

Three Things You Need If You Want More Customers

In it, he breaks down in broad but simple terms the three things you need if you want more customers:

1. A group of possible customers you can identify and reach.
2. A group with a problem they want to solve using your solution.
3. A group with the desire and ability to spend money to solve that problem.

As thirty day challengers, the first thing we hear about in Ed Dale’s “Symphony of Four Parts” is the market research, and this ties into it beautifully.

We learn about identifying our market, refining our keywords/phrases with Market Samurai and narrowing things down to our “phrase that pays.” We look at the numbers and work within those numeric parameters to make sure our “phrase that pays” is viable.

Then, we build a blog or site around it and see if we can get ranked fairly quickly and get traffic.

Once we have the traffic, we can test to see if they will “convert” – or buy whatever we’re offering.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t – and when it doesn’t work – I have to ask myself…why?

Sometimes, it’s easy to lose site of the customer…I like doing the research, looking at numbers – working within established parameters.  It’s all very logical, comfortable – numbers are so easy to define…  But I’ve come up with a couple of duds over the last six months.  And I think it’s because I get too into the science of it and forget all about the fact that I’m trying to turn a searcher into a satisfied customer.

Maybe I can get ranked…I can even get traffic – but in the case of my duds, I could have saved myself a lot of time had I simply filtered my “phrase that pays” through the three items above.

In both cases for me, I was able to satisfy number 1 – Market Samurai is AWESOME for that.

For numbers two and three, I think it just takes asking yourself those questions about your phrase, like this:

If my phrase is “how to report credit” AND the niche I’m trying to market to is “small businesses with in-house credit accounts who need to report their accounts to the credit bureaus, but don’t know how” – I just ask myself if my solution will help them – and if they have the desire and ability to spend money to solve the problem identified or implied by that phrase…

As it turns out – it will – and they do.

Now, If I was marketing on a local level only – I may not be able to get enough customers to support that business.  But because of the way we can leverage the internet, we can target and reach a large group of potential businesses who need to solve that problem.

And that spells success!

So – in YOUR efforts to build YOUR internet business, just remember to keep your customers in mind.  As you do your research and identify keywords/phrases with potential – filter them through the list of three things above.  You’ll likely save yourself some money, time and a lot of effort…

Hug your kids – as of the 14th of this month, I’ve got a NEW one to hug!

Mistakes Marketers Make

Time to watch today’s videos: Approximately 23 minutes.

Additional time to complete today’s action steps: It’s not so much an action step day as it is a time to review and reflect – and stay on top of updates to WordPressDirect.

Thirty Day Challenge Transcripts and Training are available below each video.

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Day 30 Introduction Video – 30DC

2008TDC30_Intro_Day30

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Mistakes That Marketers Make Online

2008TDC30_Mistakes

Ed covers some common mistakes and ways to avoid them as you go forward.

Remember the Magnificent Symphony of Four Parts:

  • Market Research
  • Traffic
  • Conversion
  • Product

Most mistakes are made during market research – and a lot of effort and time could be saved by spending ample time on the research.

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WordPressDirect Update

2008TDC30_Wordpressdirect_Update

GuruBob takes us through an important WordPressDirect update.

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30DC Meetups – With the official challenge drawing to a close, make sure you check in on where meetups are happening in your area. Keeping in touch with people doing the same thing you are is enormously beneficial.

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Assessing Your Blog Traffic

Time to watch today’s videos: Approximately 10 minutes.

Additional time to complete today’s action steps: Once you’ve logged into your Google Analytics account, it only takes a matter of minutes to review your traffic reports. For today, focus on the keywords people are searching for to find your site.

Thirty Day Challenge Transcripts and Training are available below each video.

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Day 13 Introduction Video – 30DC

2008TDC13_Intro_Day13

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Using Google Analytics To Check Your Blog Stats

2008TDC13_analytics

The topic of setting up Google analytics to work with your blog was covered on Day Seven.

Google Analytics allows you to find out where your traffic is coming from. You can determine which keywords people are using to find your site.

Google Analytics – Click here to set up your Google Analytics account – if you haven’t done so already.

Since this is a rather light day – take some time to research and write some additional content…You will need it as we continue forward.

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BONUS CONTENT

Thirty Day Challenge TV – 2008.08.13 Episode 7

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Thirty Day Challenge TV – 2008.08.13 Episode 7 – Q & A

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You’ll never guess what happened. Even if you did guess – you might not care. And if you’re a jaded internet marketing veteran – you might think to yourself, so what – Steve? It’s no big deal…

But it’s a big deal to me. And it would be a big deal for anyone whose never done it before. I think we’ll see a bit of this kind of excitement during this year’s thirty day challenge – and I’m all for being excited for someone whose accomplished something big.

So what am I talking about?

Well, while I was sleeping ( you know, between 2:30AM and 7AM) the 500th visitor came to this site. For me, that’s pretty exciting. Take a look at this:

Blog Traffic Graph

Blog Traffic Graph

You can see some of the high points – and what was happening behind the scenes to draw visitors here. I think this is another important thing to look at – the stats:

Blog Stats

Blog Stats

If you’re really paying attention, you’ll notice that the graph shows 46 visitors today – and the stats show 48. That means a couple more people visited while I was taking screen shots – cool, huh?

I started this site a little over a month ago, not for traffic or glory – mostly because I knew that the “best way to learn is to teach.”

And my goal is to teach this process to my 10 year old son Stephen – so that he never has to work 50+ hours a week to build somebody else’s business – so that he never has to worry about where the next house payment is coming from.

I also thought this would be a good way to shift from “learning mode” to “take action” mode. For about a year, I’ve been learning and experimenting here and there – dabbling with internet marketing. I’ve had a few things work out – and like Edison – I’ve learned a lot of ways to “not” do something.

By committing to go through the videos, make notes and write summaries – I’m disciplining myself to take action. I could get lost in Friendfeed, Twitter, Facebook – and never actually “DO” anything. I know. I’ve done it. But not anymore.

Did I post this to brag – heck no. Mostly, I hope this gives you hope. The things you’ll be learning throughout the challenge will make it possible for you to research a niche, create a blog or website, drive traffic, and hopefully make sales.

In my case, this site isn’t about making money or sales. Heck, I’m not even trying to get your name and email address for list-building purposes. This is about me learning the process, teaching it to my son – and letting you come along for the ride.

I’ll have the latest “Video Tips” notes up later tonight….

If this made you smile, please take a moment to spread the word…

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