Order To Get More Visitors, Continuous Site Improvement Is Necessary

Originally, this blog was started so I could write to inform and entertain. Like most other things, however, there is more to blogging then meets the eye. Thank goodness I find myself equally interested in marketing as writing my blog entries.

All bloggers are looking to drive up traffic to their site and I have been working on some site improvements the last week or so to increase traffic and in general make Breaking Even more appealing.

Networking

I joined the Finwikian, a Wiki dedicated to personal finance web sites. I have been also commenting on at least one blog every day whereas before I tended to read but not comment. This has led to more traffic from referrals than I expected.

I got my first "friend" at BlogCatalog and have been improving my social networking on that site and on Myspace. I have tried to list all my web presence beneath my photo on the front page of my site.

Branding

I want to not only be part of “breaking even” branding but a “Nicole Ouellette” branding. Putting all Nicole Ouellette sites on Breaking Even will no doubt help this association. I have also decided to take the plunge and splurge on a custom design for this site because if I look like everyone else, people will keep thinking I’m everyone else. Stay tuned.

I have also decided that the fact I live in Maine (i.e. a rural area) effects a lot of my writing and have been targeting my "Maineness" more recently. I figure I can be a personal finance woman who happens to live in Maine. I see no conflict and only benefits in being both of these things.

Advertising

I’m considering link advertising on other blogs and exploring this further.

Search Engine Optimization

In addition to putting links within my posts (not only to other sites but parts of this site as well), I have also been taking steps to improve search engine rating.

A friend at work who knows a lot about this sent me Justin Cook’s web site with some of his favorite search engine optimization tools. The post was written in 2006 so it’s not surprising that some of these tools are no longer free. I’ve checked into them though and a couple are:

Backlink & Anchor Text Tool
Knowing who is linking to you and what link text they’re using is one of the most important aspects in Search Engine Optimization. This tool checks your backlinks (only showing one backlink per URL that links to you) and shows the link text used to link to you. It takes a while for this SEO tool to run, but when it finishes, you’ve got a great report. This is a 2 part internet marketing tool. When the first part finishes, you can get a summary – often the summary is more useful SEO information.

Sitemap Generator

This tool will spider your site (up to 1000 URL’s) and create a sitemap in ROR format. (I’m going to stick my sitemap on my "About Me" page if I can figure out how.)

A Better Looking Site

I’ve been cleaning up my sidebars and trying to make more readable lists. I’ve been trying to use photos well and have pared down the categories and directory listings to make more room for useful sidebar information. I was also advised to put my photo on the top of the page to make things more personal.

So what do you think about the site? What do you like about it? What could use improvement? I’d love your feedback as I strive to improve this blog not only for my satisfaction but for those who read this.   

Our first in-person workshop in 2+ years is happening September 24!

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