If you read Progress Report 1, you’ll know that the blog I set up for this case study is Cheap Electricity Options.

To recap, Week 1 of the blog development involved keyword research and identifying if the niche wasn’t too competitive and that there were enough products for it to advertise. Week 1 closed with the installation of the blog, selecting a theme and adding a home page and article. The blog is set up to use a static home page.

Week 2 saw the preparation of some articles for the site that were scheduled to be posted over the next 2-3 weeks. I also created a report to entice visitors to sign up for the email series that is also being added, on an ongoing basis, to the site.

So now to week 3…:

Week 3:

I wrote another couple of articles that were added to the posting schedule. This is the hardest part of building a blog that you’re not passionate about – hand-crafting original articles that require some research so that you don’t sound like you’re talking out of your backside. Like many, it’s a process I don’t particularly enjoy as it’s so time consuming.

With those extra articles out of the way, it was time to start turning on the traffic tap to get the site in front of some visitors. So here are the steps I’ve taken this week:

1. I added the MaxBlogPress Subscriber’s Magnet plugin to the blog:

This plugin is no longer available. Use Clickfunnels® instead or Popup Domination now to add appealing popup optin-forms to your sites.

This automates a lot of what’s required to add an opt-in form to a blog. This particular plugin has options for adding an optin-in form to the bottom of every post excerpt listed on an archive/tag/category page. That’s a bit overkill for me, so I opted to have the opt-in form appear below just the first post excerpt on such a a page. I also have the opt-in form appear at the bottom of each post itself.

I also had the plugin put a semi-transparent opt-in form at the bottom of a page when a visitor comes to the site. So people aren’t hit with the form on every page, they see it only once during each browser session.

The Subscriber’s Magnet plugin can also have the opt-in form appear on a popup page when someone comes to the site. I’m not using this option.

The opt-in form that’s in the blog’s sidebar I added manually into a text widget. I use AWEBER as my autoreponder service, so I had to create a basic webform with just the Name and Email fields and resize it to fit the area available on the blog. Then it was just a matter of copying the bit of Javascript provided and pasting it into the text widget. The report graphic was reduced in size to fit the remaining space available.

2. Added Twitter support with the TwitMe plugin:

This plugin fires a tweet out to your Twitter account each time a post is published. I probably should have added this sooner as by this week (week 3), several posts have already been published and not tweeted. I created a Twitter account specifically for the blog.

3. Added the “Follow me on Twitter” (WP Follow Me) plugin:

This puts a Follow Me vertical banner on the right of the page that allows visitors to quickly sign up as followers of the Cheap Electricity Options twitter account.

4. Submitted the site to 114 directories:

Submitting site links to various link directories is an onerous task so I decided to outsource this by using a Directory Submitter service. They can submit to hundreds of directories but they provide an option to only submit to sites of a particular PageRank (PR) or higher. I opted to submit to PR3 and higher sites. There were 114 of these in their database and the submission cost $18.24 ($0.16 per directory submission). Links were submitted over a 3 week period to spread out link building.

5. Did some manual backlinking:

I added links to the Cheap Electricity Options site to some of my own sites that have PR1+.

6. Added the site to the Top 100 Science sites:

The Top 100 was a directory of top sites in various categories. It didn’t cost anything to add a site to their database. The only thing they required was a link back. But that’s ok as that link is what visitors clicked on to vote for your site. The more people who votes, the higher your site ranked in the Top 100. The site is gone now.

7. Submitted articles to article directories and blogs using Unique Article Wizard, SEO LinkVine and Article Marketing Automation.

I used article marketing to get a few hundred articles out to various article directories and blogs using Unique Article Wizard, SEOLinkVine and Article Marketing Automation (no longer available). You can read more about my process for this in this post. All articles are crafted to be spinnable so that each spun version is at least 50% unique. It’s a bit time consuming to set up such an article but it pays dividends in time saved later. I’ve found The Best Spinner proves very useful here in quickly spinning such articles.

8. Used some of the linking tactics outlined in my Blog Linking Tactics report:

My Blog Linking Tactics report lists many ways of getting backlinks for a site. I’ve been applying some of these methods during the week to get more backlinks.

9. Added more emails to the AWEBER autoresponder.

Results So Far…

The blog has been online for three weeks now and eight articles have been posted. The optin form I manually added to the sidebar has been on the site for 2 weeks and the opt-in forms created by Subscriber’s Magnet have been on for 1 week.

Pages Indexed in Google: 66. Most of these are tag pages but the main site pages have been indexed too.
Links in Google: 0 (as expected). I don’t expect to see Google links appear for several weeks as they seem slow to update such info.
Yahoo Backlinks: 753. Big jump from week 2.
Unique Visitors: 12. Slightly up on week 2.
Number of Visits: 43. Averaging 2.05 visits per day. Most of these are still my own visits to the site when checking new posts and doing some editing to fix errors.
Page Views: 239. Still skewed by my own visits to the site when checking new posts and doing some editing to fix errors.
Bounce Rate: 53.49%. Pretty good.
Newsletter Subscribers: 0. Still not enough unique visitors to get a proportion of them to sign up for the newsletter.

Coming soon: Week 4…

All the best,

Gary Nugent

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