We’re going to pick on Joan a little more, using her comment to our last post as an example of what not to do.
Whether you open a retail store on main street, an upholstery shop in your garage, or a website promoting a product or service, your success is dependent upon traffic — sufficient potential customers.
Other factors affect your profitability, including your costs and your conversion rate (the percentange of your visitors who purchase). But the challenge we all face is getting enough people to stop by and browse in the first place. Especially online.
How do they find you online? Most people head to the search engines first, so website owners strategize to become listed high in the search engines.
One of the more important methods to achieve a high ranking in the search engines is through links coming into your site. One tactic is to post on other peoples’ blogs, either with a hyperlink in the post, and/or a signature linking to your site.
Posting in blogs and forums is a perfectly honored and respected method of linking and promoting your own site. When you share information, or even ask a legitimate question that someone else can hop in and answer, you add value to the conversation and help make the site a livelier place to visit. Everybody wins.
This is where Joan comes in.
Take a look at our last post, a short message with links to some sites offering discount coupons. We hoped this would be helpful in your business and personal online shopping.
Joan’s comment, “Great Post, Thanks” contributed nothing to the original message. Presumably, her entire objective was:
(a) to achieve a backlink, and
(b) through her catchy tagline, to raise your curiosity and get you to click through to her sales page, which is a one-post blog with several comments that she most likely wrote herself in place of real testimonials.
The structure of her sales page is not the issue. In fact, you can learn a lot by studying her tagline and technique, and the clean, simple, focused design of her sales page.
Start Business Right is a blog about starting and operating a business. But Joan is only trying to pump traffic to her own business.
There is nothing wrong with that either. Online or off, many businesses successfully collaborate with their marketing. Most blogs, including this one, promote products or encourage readers to visit their other websites which, presumably, are designed to earn money.
Many blog owners encourage others to post, gladly allowing backlinks … PROVIDING the post offers something of value, something that contributes to the conversation or subject at hand.
Making money is one objective we all have for our businesses. Most of us, however, have a genuine desire to give something positive to the world and help other people whenever we can.
“Delete” “Delete” “Delete” … blog moderators delete “Great Post, Thanks” type comments every day. Spammers post these generic comments on other blogs in bulk, hoping to get past the moderators. Most never get published, or every blog would be filled with posts that waste bandwidth and readers’ time.
Although comparing business models is a subject we plan to cover in more detail in the future, we decided to use Joan’s post to demonstrate the good and bad of this traffic-generating technique, and also to address network marketing as a viable business. (And as long as she brought it up, we took the opportunity to tell you about our favorite health products as well!)
What is the take-home message here?
Posting on other blogs with a signature linking to your site is a great way to become part of the word-wide-web and increase your site’s ranking in the search engines. Just make sure that you share relevant information and create value to the community.
Under no circumstances, ever, should you use this blog-commenting technique to post generic or shocking comments designed only to benefit you through a link to your site.
You will lose credibility in the long run.