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Readership Posts

About this category:

A business without customers is not a business, it’s a hobby. A blog without readers is not a blog, it’s a journal. If you want to build up a readership, the articles in this category will help you find the fans that are searching for you and help you connect with them on a deeper level.


Does a pretty opt-in form matter?

Credit: cdw9

Credit: cdw9

One of the most valuable steps you can take to building a successful blog is to start an email newsletter. One of the best ways to get subscribers to your newsletter is to use a lightbox popup inviting them to join.

What if I told you that having a well-designed lightbox is as important as whatever offer you have inside of it? That an ugly lightbox with a free offer so severely underperforms a pretty lightbox with no offer, that you’re better off working on making the lightbox pretty than creating a freebie?

It’s true.

One of my other sites is, a site where I write about scotch whisky. It’s a fun little hobby site that I enjoy testing some ideas on, including Aweber lightboxes.

A short time ago, I put up an ugly lightbox. I took one of Aweber’s lightboxes, edited some text, and threw it up in about twenty minutes (lightbox, followups, the whole deal). My goal was to just capture emails, conversion rate and all that was not a concern. I wanted fast. Eventually, I came up with a giveaway (a gift guide) and edited the text to include it.

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Should I Open Links In New Window?

Credit: Leshaines123

Credit: Leshaines123

When I’m surfing the internet, I open all links by clicking on my mouse wheel, which puts them in a new tab. I use tabs like a short-term bookmarking system to remember what things I need to address during the day. It’s not the most efficient process in the world but it works for me.

It never gets excessive to the point where I have 30+ tabs but there are days where it gets up there. 🙂

So I never gave today’s question much thought until now.

Lance of asks:

The user experience question I have is whether or not I should set up all of my links in articles to open in new tabs. I do this now, but am beginning to think it may not be a good strategy for bounce rates, not that it particularly matters.

I feel most users are advanced enough to know to right click and open the link in a new tab if they don’t want to leave the current page, but I thought I’d see what your thoughts were.

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Please Don’t Make These Critical Commenting Mistakes!

Credit: kevinzim

Credit: kevinzim

“Great post!”

“Thank you so much for this post! It’s exactly what I needed today!”

Bargaineering was a magnet for comment spam. It was (still is) a PR6 site and we’d get comments, many were spam, all the time. We installed all the usual anti-spam plugins to help kill the automated stuff but there isn’t much you can do for the boundary cases – the “great posts” and the “thanks!” type of comments.

For those, I would mark as spam and eventually Akismet took care of it and the commenter was never heard from again.

If this is you, don’t feel bad… but you’re going about this all wrong.

If you leave your site name as your name in the comment, that’s not only wrong but dangerous (I didn’t say this, Matt Cutts said it).

If you leave a signature link or say “I just wrote about this here” and link yourself, you’re doing it wrong.

Here’s why:
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Focus on Your Readers and Relationships, Not Search Engine Optimization

Credit: CharlesHBass

Credit: CharlesHBass

A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of meeting up with old friends at Fincon, a fantastic personal finance blogger convention put on my buddy Phil Taylor of PTMoney. I contributed to two panels and the one that I wanted to talk about today was titled “Panda, Penguin, and the Future of SEO.”

I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Viet Do of Dealzon (who set the whole thing up), Greg Go of Wisebread, and Ryan Guina of The Military Wallet and each one of them has had far more experience battling the animal spirits of Google than me, though I’d like to think that I held my own with my general knowledge of SEO.

While we went through some site reviews (I’m sorry if I was a little brutal in my honesty), I wanted attendees to take home just one idea from everything I said:

Focus on your site’s usability and on connecting with readers,
don’t worry about search engine optimization.

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PSA: Please Fix Your Broken Links

Credit: t r e v y

Credit: t r e v y

You get your morning coffee or tea, toast up your croissant, and settle down in your comfy chair to begin your morning routine of surfing the internet for cat videos.

You find this great site with all these links and you realize you can kill a perfectly good hour just watching and reading to your heart’s content. Hooray!

You click on the first link – broken.

OK, it happens, no big deal.

You click on the next one, it works, yay! You watch, you laugh, you cry, you have a great time. You go back to the list, you click on the next one… broken!

You start to get annoyed. You are placated by a funny cat video but then there are a few more broken ones. You get more annoyed.

Then, you knock over your coffee because you’re annoyed and the next thing you know your computer has gone out the window.

Don’t be the reason your reader throws their computer out the window. Fix your broken links.

Fortunately, it’s really easy and there are two ways to do it. Well, first way is super easy and what I recommend. The second way is still easy just a little slower, but it’s a very useful tool I want to introduce you to.

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