You know the story of Hansel and Gretel, right? Wicked stepmother abandons the kids in the middle of the forest. They find the Gingerbread house with the witch inside. She tries to fatten the kids up so she can eat them but they trick her and toast her in her own oven. Kids find their way home and dad dumps the stepmother. Everybody’s happy. The End. So what’s all that got to do with Internet Marketing?
Well, you can learn a lot from Hansel and Gretel. You see, it’s entirely their fault they ran up against that wicked old witch anyway. They marked a trail so they could find there way home, but they marked it with breadcrumbs. How long did they think they would last?
The first thing that everyone tells you when you start your blog is that all you need to do is concentrate on providing unique, quality content and the traffic will come pouring in. But today, that’s simply not true. There are millions of sites out there, all providing unique quality content, and their owners go to sleep each night to a chorus of crickets.
You want your blog to be exciting and brimming with activity. You want people to come to your blog and leave comments and share your content with their friends. And most important, you want people to come to your blog and buy whatever it is you’re selling. To get all those people to come traipsing through your blog at all hours of the day and night you need to leave a much heftier trail than breadcrumbs! You need to leave a lot of concrete trails all over the forest.
Don’t let anyone tell you that link building isn’t important. Links are the paths that visitors use to find their way to your blog. They’re important all right. And here’s how you build them:
Article marketing: Write good quality, informative articles and publish them at online article directories like EzineArticles.com. This is one of the best ways to build quality backlinks. You’ll get 2 links to your site with each article you publish and if you’ve chosen to use high ranking directories then that ranking will rub off on your own blog and help you rise in the search engine index.
Those two links are also paths that readers can follow back to your blog. And when other blogs publish your articles from the directories you’ll get even more backlinks.
Blog commenting: Leaving a link back to your site when you comment on other blogs is another method of generating backlinks. Again, these links lend authority to your own blog if they come from high ranking blogs. And they also act as a path for visitors to follow back to your site.
The key thing to remember is that your comments must add some value to the blog post you’re commenting on. It’s not enough to just drop your link and say ‘Nice post, thanks!’ Make some type of relevant comment that adds some value or the blog owner will just delete your comment for spam.
Social media marketing: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit – these are all social networks, filled with people who are constantly sharing information. Get involved in relevant networks and start making connections.
It’s important to participate on a social level first and become part of the community. No one likes a pushy sales person, especially in the social networks. Get to know people. Ask questions. Be sociable. And don’t worry about selling. Once the group gets to know you and like you, they’ll find their own way to your blog.
Forum marketing: Participating in forums is a little like blog commenting and social networking rolled into one. In most forums you’re allowed to include a link to your website in your signature line. Then, each time you post a response you’re leaving a link to your site.
Remember, though, you need to be careful and be sociable. Again, you’re not there to sell, you’re there to make connections. Trust me. When people are ready to come to your blog they will and you won’t even have to ask.
Guest blogging: Guest blogging is one of the best ways to get your links out there for everyone to see. The key is to choose relevant blogs and submit top quality content. No slacking here. If you wouldn’t publish it on your own blog then don’t submit it to someone else’s. These type of links are good for authority and traffic so it’s definitely worth diving into guest blogging.
Take a lesson about Internet Marketing from Hansel and Gretel and build lots of paths out of content that lasts. Leave the breadcrumbs for the birds.