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Getting Users: What am I missing? (15 posts)

  1. politicalbear
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    Ok, my MU site is almost a year old. Thanks to contributions by almost everyone on here, I feel that my site is pretty darn good. (it was a little rocky at first)

    Of course there are always things that I want to add, but that is kind of the fun of running a site anyway.

    To the question:
    I don't have any users! I realistically I have 6 bloggers including myself that post. I have about 10 that dabbled and are gone.

    Is there anything I can do to get more users?

  2. andrea_r
    Moderator
    Posted 12 years ago #

    Network with other bloggers in your niche.
    Do some social networking.
    Advertise. :)
    Run a contest.
    Offline marketing.

  3. Klark0
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    What andrea said. Advertise on related sites and run Adwords.

    Connect with existing bloggers in your niche and get them to import to you. Most caribbean folks are on Blogspot so it's been a disaster for me since the Blogger Importer isn't working properly.

  4. tdjcbe
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    Honest opinion. Take it how you want to:

    +1 for a home.php redesign. When you look at the page, there's nothing above the fold (ie when you load the page) that points out that this is a blogging site where visitors can join and do their own blogs. It looks more like cnn.com or other news sites.

    And that guy looks down right evil. Scaring folks away I bet. :)

    The front page really should fit all within a screen although that's real hard to do with what we have. Take a look at wp.com. One screen, it tells you it's a blogging site and sign up now button. Take a look at edublogs.org. Granted it's two screens but what you see first is the four points along the left along with those two buttons on the right. Says blogging site.

    Sorry to say your site doesn't say blogging site. It says news site.

  5. cafespain
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    At a minimum move that "Join Political Blogs" from the bottom to the top of the left (or right) hand side. Or re-jig it and put it on the top right were you have the admin blog and donate links.

  6. tdjcbe
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    Maybe replace those three icons at the upper right with that?

    You also have this on your front page: "Registration Temorarily Disabled" That maybe a turn off. Maybe reduce Site News to 3 so not to display it?

    Sitenews should be upbeat or positive. Negative stuff should be left to support forum posts or dashboard announcements. Or heck let folks discover it. *chuckle* That's what certain other blogging sites do that will remain nameless. :)

    edit: Or at least give it a positive spin to it.

  7. politicalbear
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    Thanks this has been great. I will give some of these ideas a whirl and get back for an update.

    I like the above the fold idea. I like the upbeat admin blog mandate......not the like the world is going to stop. they can email me. Also, I have only mildly networked, so I will go back out there on that virtual corner and show some virtual leg.....

    About the picture, point taken, that guy is evil, he is Sec. Paulson and he is the ring leader of this socialistic bailout in the US. arrgh.

    Regarding advertising.....I will do some after a redo on the site, but two questions. What should I look for in a new blogger/money spent ratio and what advertising program is best for finding new bloggers?

  8. tdjcbe
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    What should I look for in a new blogger/money spent ratio and what advertising program is best for finding new bloggers?

    That's probably going to fall under being a trade secret for most of us. (I think it's even against Google Adsense rules.) I know at least one of my clients advertises and it boggles my mind what she's paying for a click. Regular webhosting is some serious money as well. (For reference, most hosting affiliate programs pay on average $105 for getting a new client signed up.)

    I'd lean more towards direct adverting. Most of my clients cater to specific sites that are in their fields and work out a monthly fee. For example I contacted a webcomic a few weeks ago and they only wanted $10 a month for a banner advert. (This is for regular hosting by the way, not mu.) They just wanted something to cover their own hosting. I paid for a year and they're happy. (More like kissing my *cough*.) I've been reading them since day 1 almost, comment usually, and they knew who I was when I contacted them. Helped me and helped them.

    For a political blog host, I'd go find other political blogs and see if they have advertising information pages. Not Ann whats-her-name (What is her name? I can't think of it) level but more of your B-level bloggers. Many of them do their own advertising and will work with you. Heck, some of them may even blog about your site. :)

    Do be very up front though. Open requests for advertising like this may be considered spamming by some. Cater your first email to the site you;re sending it you. If you read the blog yourself, point that out to them. Just don't make it sound like cut and paste.

    Hope this helps

    edit: Don't forget a features page. That guy from that other blogging site we won't talk about has stated how his features page is the most viewed page on his site.

  9. TxMarc
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    If you haven't already be sure to submit any rss feeds you may have to the rss aggregators for immediate traffic and long term backlinks. Some of the immediate traffic may convert to a user for you.

    I think it is safe to say that in the political world this is as heated as it gets, find some good keywords and blog about those topics, you should be able to get some good natural rankings. Write a good blog post about McCain, Obama, etc and Digg it. You should see a traffic spike, which hopefully will results in new users for you.

    Find a few good political forums to join, make some good posts and have a sig file set-up to lead people to your site where once again hopefully some will convert to users of your site.

    Finally as far as ppc traffic goes, you really need to know what you are doing or you may go broke in the process. You can either learn the ropes if you are not familiar with PPC or hire a PPC management company to do it for you. Some of those companies will completely run a ppc campaign for you for a reasonable fee.

  10. andrea_r
    Moderator
    Posted 12 years ago #

    "For a political blog host, I'd go find other political blogs and see if they have advertising information pages. Not Ann whats-her-name (What is her name? I can't think of it) level but more of your B-level bloggers. Many of them do their own advertising and will work with you. Heck, some of them may even blog about your site. :)"

    This is exactly what I was going to suggest. :)

  11. tdjcbe
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    I actually disagree with most of what TxMarc suggests.
    The keywords and whatnot route will just get folks to come by and take a look see at the individual blogs. That'll get folks to the individual blogs but that won't get them to sign up, create their own blogs, and use them.

    Also, as I suggested up above, the hosting and/or blog market is too high priced to even attempt PPC. You've got companies with very big bucks at the top of that market.

    I took a look at this page and will make a few suggestions.

    1) You're advertising for a competitor. See that wp.org link in your meta widget? Replace it with yours. Ditto with any wp.com links you see. It's in the meta widgets and many themes.

    2) Link in the footer. Please a link in the footer of your theme saying that the blog they are looking at is hosted by your site. We actually have a mu plugin that rotates between about a dozen different messages (ie "free blog hosting" "get a free blog today" etc) with a link back to your main site or even a static landing page explaining your site, why the link is there, etc. The multiple messages gets it noticed by Google. ;)

    3) Advert widget: Make an advert widget with a 150x150 pixel advert for your site and tell folks it's there for use. Don 't force anyone but suggest it's use. Some will and some won't.

    4) Banner across the top. You don't do this but some folks run the admin bar 100% of the time along the top, even if the visitor isn't logged in. Add a banner or text link there back to your site.

    5) How your docs? Can you find the help section? Do you even have a help secition?

    6) Is it too hard. Log out, clear your cookies, and see how easy it is to create an account on your site.

    There's other ideas but most of them involve some serious coding. We have one site that runs a month affiliate program that gives away upgrades. Another one awards for well written posts about the site promoting it.

  12. TxMarc
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    tdjcbe did you read my post? :) The majority of what I wrote was for ways to get organic traffic from low competition keywords and quality back links, not PPC.

    I just did a basic search using two of my keyword tools as well as the google keyword tool and there are many “political blog” related keywords with little to no ppc competition or SEO competition. That means it is ripe for running PPC ads and TESTING different ad copy to find an effective ad. If he were to go that route with his site.

    There are also many terms ripe for the picking with a simple article targeting the keyword phrase:

    For instance:

    "my political blog" only has 32,700 competing sites in google and googles estimate is 170 searches per month for that phrase which is not a lot but it is very targeted traffic, hmmm. That phrase is not too hard to get a top ten ranking for. And (mypoliticalblog.com) is a direct competitor to his site. At the time of this post there is only one company (blogger) running an adwords ad for that term. So he could easily have his site featured on that page either via ppc (Instant) or in a few days/weeks with a good article written for that phrase and properly submitted.

    Targeting any "political blog" related keyword that is easy to rank for IMHO will be good for his site. Whether for sign-ups for blogs or visitors that can contribute to blogs already hosted there which keep the current users happy!!!!

    I agree with you that with some site tweaks (not my specialty at all) he could convert a higher percent of his visitors to blog users, but without traffic (visitors) who is there to convert to a user?

    I typed this fast so please forgive any spelling or grammar errors! :)

  13. politicalbear
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    Again, thanks.

    This is enough (although anything other suggestions are welcome) to keep me busy and quiet for another couple of months. Since I code with two thumbs...that are only mildly opposable the site redo to encourage sign ups will take awhile. But, I guess that is ok, because I need to set some organic keywords up now too. We will see about the PPC advertising, still not rich yet. I guess that is a chicken before the egg type problem.

    Ann who? Ann Coulter (who has abnormally long digits BTW)

  14. Ovidiu
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    very good advice in this post :-) I found a couple of suggestions I will follow too.

  15. tdjcbe
    Member
    Posted 12 years ago #

    tdjcbe did you read my post?

    Yes, I did and I stand with what I said. Getting traffic to the site is one thing. Getting folks to realize that you're running a blogging site, encouraging them to sign up, create accounts, and actually use the site is another.

    Ann Coulter

    Yup, that's her. Couldn't think of her name.

About this Topic

  • Started 12 years ago by politicalbear
  • Latest reply from tdjcbe