Archive for the_time('F Y')

10 ways to build your blog traffic
30 August 2006 in Blogging | Comments (16)

Top 10

  1. Link Liberally
    Some people are really tight with links – you shouldn’t be one of them. The more you link to sources the more other bloggers are likely to link to you. Links add context to your post for users who have a deeper interest in what you have to say. 
  2. Write attention grabbing headlines
    I’ve been poor about this, I quite often write somewhat bland headlines that don’t grab attention. The truth is, I can actually see in my statistics the posts where I wrote a good headline because they get more traffic (from people linking in from their RSS reader).
  3. Be a thought-leader
    This was a term that I came across at Tech-Ed, rather than just blogging what others have to say, write original content. It can be useful to blog announcements but it’s not really differentiating you from other bloggers. If you’re creating the content you’re more likely to be linked to. 
  4. Participate in the online community
    Online nobody has a name… until they comment. The more you comment on other peoples blog the more likely they are to participate on your blog. It also makes blog owners happy to have people commenting, so why not take a few moments to comment on something you find useful? Call it Karma. I learnt this well from GEEK who is great at leveraging this method.
  5. Make commenting easy
    A lot of sites use CAPTCHA or require registration to comment which only inhibits people from commenting. If I can’t post a comment, I’m not likely to return in a hurry to see what others had to say. Use a fantastic anti-spam tool like Akismet which takes away the headaches while making it easy for users to interact.
  6. Solve a problem
    A lot of my traffic comes from people visiting posts where I comment on a solution I have to a common problem. In my case this includes things like how to resolve a common coding question or how to achieve something with a third party tool. People like linking to solutions.
  7. Make syndication easy
    When I last upgraded the theme of my blog I accidentally removed all links to my RSS feed. Since adding the feed link back and adding a prominent link at the top of the page the number of subscribers has been increasing strongly. Don’t make people hunt for your feed, they want to be return visitors so don’t punish them for it.
  8. Ask for links
    I identified a post that was getting a significant number of visits to it and updated it to ask that if people found the information useful that perhaps they would like to subscribe to my RSS feed. This has resulted in a steady increase in RSS subscribers over time.
  9. Post often
    …but not too often. I notice I get more links and visitors when I post between once and twice in a day. It’s just like selling - the more often I’m in front of a prospect (visitor) the higher chance they will find a post useful and subscribe or link to it. Post too often and you consume too much time and annoy your audience.
  10. Pimp it!
    It’s surprising how many opportunities you have to link to your blog. I advertise my blogs existence in presentations, in my email signature and anywhere else that seems appropriate. It’s not seen as a bad thing, often having a blog adds authority to what you have to say.

There are many more things you can do to improve traffic but I thought I’d round of the top 10 that I use to try and help my own blog. I’m trying to take a more aggressive approach to trying to improve the experience for you, the audience, but some of these won’t be visible for a while. The key to any improvement is being able to measure your success (or failure) which is why often I comment on tools that I use to measure my own performance.

What have you found useful to help reach more people?

- JD

ASB Business Podcast
28 August 2006 in Business | Comments (1)

Some know that I’ve been watching ASB Business on TV1 since I was at high school which has meant waking up at 6:30 every morning. While I’m not a night owl, sometimes waking up that early has been difficult however the good folks at TVNZ have decided to release a Podcast of the show. Both just the audio and the video versions of it. Fantastic.

Get the ASB Business Podcast here.

 - JD

Internet Explorer 7 RC1
25 August 2006 in Microsoft | Comments (3)

IE 7 Logo

For those folks that like to keep up with the latest happenings in Microsoft land, RC1 of Internet Explorer 7 is now available for download on both XP & 2003 platforms.

Grab it IE 7 RC1 here.

- JD

TechEd 2006 in review
24 August 2006 in .Net & Code & Events & Intergen & Windows | Comments (3)

teched2006.jpg

First off, it was fantastic. I’ve only been to TechEd twice but Microsoft put on a great event. Everything went unbelievably smoothly and the atmosphere was really good. We arrived on Sunday afternoon and everything was already humming.

I managed to attend quite a few sessions and all of them had great speakers.

One thing that I didn’t expect, but was happily surprised about, was that the Live initiative really is shaping up to be a compelling offering across the board. My earlier reservations have been quashed and I’m looking forward to the further development of the Live platform over the next six months. I guess the key message I would share about this is that perhaps while the live.com portal might not be your kettle of fish, the other services really are quite compelling.

Speaking of Live, the Web in general was well discussed. Rowan Simpson from TradeMe presented a few times and was an excellent speaker. I think he added some balance to the event – making it clear the back end doesn’t matter if you don’t solve a problem for your end users in an easy to use manner. Congratulations to them on achieving 1 billion page views per month as well, that’s impressive.

Office 2007 was represented very well at TechEd. I attended several sessions about Office and picked up a few things. The whole stack of Office, Vista and Live is going to be compelling.

Intergen, where I work, was running the hands on labs again this year which is always enjoyable and a great way to meet other people attending TechEd. Hopefully everyone tried them out and learnt a lot.

TechFest was a heap of fun. It was similar to last years event however that was great considering the success of last year. This was another great place to meet other people in the industry but, sadly, we couldn’t convince any of the ladies at TechFest that were near to jump up on my shoulders for The Feelers however I was pleased to see more representation of woman in technology at TechEd this year :) . Some of us ended up at Globe and had a great time there until the wee hours (as well as meeting even more great folks).

Then last night we had the mad dash to the airport. As much as I love TechEd it’s just long enough to make me appreciate being back in my own bed :) I’m sure everyone else had a great time.

This post is quite a quick brain dump of my thoughts, I’ll probably follow up over the next few days with this I remember as being useful or cool :)

- JD

Blog of the year!
24 August 2006 in Blogging | Comments (7)

A big thanks to everyone who voted for my blog as the best .Net blog of 2006. Apparently a lot of you want to know how to be better in bed ;)

Blog of the year 2006

I’m now back from TechEd, which was fantastic, so I’ll be crankin’ up the blogging machine again shortly. I’ll have to write my review of TechEd (I really should buy a laptop and do it while I’m there) so that will take a bit of time.

Thanks again,

- JD

Ping Servers for Live Writer
19 August 2006 in Blogging | Comments (0)

If you’re using Live Writer and want to have it ping blog services to notify them that you have made a post check out this huge list of ping servers. I’ve never found that they drive too much traffic but some is better than none :)

To add them just copy and paste the list. In Live Writer, click Tools -> Preferences -> Ping Servers, enable ping servers and paste in the list. Easy.

This list can of course be used by others tools that support ping servers.

 - JD

Off to TechEd
18 August 2006 in Intergen & Microsoft | Comments (4)

Well I’ve been pumping out the posts lately since I’ll be heading off to TechEd this weekend. Hope to see some of you there and just a heads up on the lack of posts for the next 5 days or so :)

- JD

Visual Studio 2003 SP1 is out
18 August 2006 in .Net & Code | Comments (0)

Just a heads up to folks who still work with Visual Studio 2003 that Visual Studio 2003 SP1 has been released and includes a tonne of fixes. A reasonably big 150MB+ download but should be worth it.

Download SP1 here

Read the release notes here

 - JD