Playmear Blog

Category: Startup

How to hack your Blog Traffic in 5 Ways

How to hack your Blog Traffic in 5 Ways: How this blog tactics should change as your blog grows.

We decided to study some of the different situation of blog posting so that we at Playmear.com can also build a blog that is not only converting hundred of thousands of visitors per month but also meaningful for our readers.

As some of you have known, we are in the augmented reality business but it doesn’t mean we only focus on augmented reality enthusiasts.

Okay, lets start with the strategy. Creating a blog is a great way to build organic traffic no matter how strong your financials are, blogs are ways to create a sustainable organic traffic to your website. (link)

Strategy segments that we have broken down into 5 segments:

  1. Starting your blog
  2. Finding your first hundred blog followers
  3. Time to scale your traffic
  4. Post-mortem your blog and improve
  5. Maintaing your formula and repeat.

In this blog article, I am going to outline the 5 segments of the blog growth better help you understand where you are today and what are the next steps you need to move forward.

 

1: Beginning of a blog

Less than a week.

When we see another person’s blog, it is rarely shared that it took them months or even years to create a sexy and high traffic blog.

Accepting that blogging is hard sweat and effort. There is no easy shortcut but to discipline to commit a blog post on a weekly basis or fortnightly basis. (Accepting this makes it easy for long term persistence and consistency)

Consistency is the key here.

Choosing the right niche for your blog. (Why choosing a niche?) Remember that for those that have started a blog, you can go over again and improve your situation. (We did the same.)

Definte a main niche.

This is the most important first step that many blog owners fail to set and gave up after months of writing blogs that nobody wants to read.

This is important that you know who is going to benefit from your blog articles.

Example: Playmear was previously focused on writing blogs for augmented reality niches, we have since decided to make it our secondary niche and now focus on marketing related articles as our main niche. (We are a B2B focused Augmented Reality Creator Platform)

If you may not have it figured out yet don’t worry, you can get it along the way. If your not sure what products you want to sell or services you can offer, it is okay. Figure out what kind of audience you want to help first is more important.

Try to be as specific as possible as this would be better than just being too general and not hitting the audience with laser focus.

Examples would be: you want to serve working adults that go to gym & lead healthy routine.

These are 124 niche case studies comprises of good and bad niches.

What is your reader persona

Once you have decided what kind of audience you want to serve, you need to build a persona about them.

In order to create content that can actually be of use to them, you must understand who they are, what is their needs, what kind of problem they are facing.

There are some tools online & manual ways to help you with it.

  • Having one-to-one conversations.
  • Demographic sites such as Alexa and SEMrush
  • Listing out common thoughts of audience characteristics
  • Google the niche characteristics out (its bound be done by someone).

Once your happy with your research, you should be able to list out your audience’s:

  • Gender
  • Age / Age range
  • Job
  • Hobbies
  • Pain Points
  • Beliefs
  • Values

As a quick Google search can give you some samples of personas done by others. Do keep a note that these have to be as specific as possible but it is okay if your starting out and not much information is available from your own testing and research. (It really does takes time to perfect your blog persona).

In the end of the day you would want to be as specific as possible and this can help you focus on creating blog posts that resonates well with your niche readers.

Start your blog 

Once that’s done, whats next? Start your blog obviously. There are some open sourced CMS available online such as WordPress, Drupal, and themes can be easily changed using templated templates from Themeforests.

For some of you a blog is an extension of providing an access point for users to interact with your brand and sort of a loudspeaker for external to learn more about your brand.

While others focus heavily being a blog-based business then your blog is everything to you. (Remember to always have a backup)

There’s a reason many startups, home-based blog uses wordpress due to its simplicity and ease of getting started without spending thousand of dollars on a custom CMS or design.

Bear in mind that the first version of any blog is not perfect and keeping up-to-date is the key to stay relevant and innovative.

Start scouting where your readers hang out.

Like many bloggers thought, blog and they will come is a wrong way to think it will be a viable solution in the beginning.

You can figure out where they spend time and go over there to lock on them. (Buffer Co-founder guest post at many different places to increase his traffic)

There are some ways but we suggest try Googling the “Top [your niche] Blogs” to get a birds eye view of the niche your in.

Next step, start listing down the sites and whether they allow guest posts and comments. We use Google Spreadsheet, check an example below.

Google them away and lists those blogs and keep a look out for high traffic signs such as high degree of comments and has lots of social shares.

Start populating your lists with the better ones on the top of your list. You really want to make sure your reader persona visits the sites so you can convert them to eventually visit your site as well. Ideally having a range of 50-100 blog sites of your similar niches is best so you can spread more of your effort to tap more of the Internet network.

If you find it difficult, tweak your search to have a broader reach such as instead of “best digital online marketing sites” to “best marketing sites”

Once blogs is done, search for forums and groups in social media sites. Search for “[your niche] + forum / linkedin groups / facebook group” this allows you to tap into existing communities and forums.

Separate the blogs, forums, and social media sites in different section of your spreadsheet to give you a better overview. For forums and social media sides, note the number of registered members, activity (slow, average, hot) and also frequency (occasional, many).

Forums are very tightly knitted communities that you can invest your time to form online one-to-one session with the communities that may give feedbacks and etc.

Social media sites tends to be harder to get attention as many will be eyeing at the same groups and etc.

 

2: Having a 100 readers is better than 1000 visitors.

Around 4 months or lesser.

This was derived from a concept talked by Kevin Kelly called 1,000 true fans (link). It was made popular when growth hacker Seth Godin referenced it in his advices.

His point being that anyone (blogger) could make a great living if they have support from a thousand true fans. As a relatively small group of loyal readers can make your blog active to allow you to dive into your blog full-time.

However we do believe going from 0 to 1000 seem a bit harder to reach for beginner bloggers.

As we mentioned, blogging takes time an average of 1-5 years to take effect depending on many factors. No matter how well your researches are, you are going to hit bumps along the way. In the early stages, no one will tell you what went wrong and give you feedbacks.

Even your 100 fans will take a while to be discovered and it depends on your execution and discipline as well as your content quality.

What happens when I have achieve my 100 fans but there is little to no activity in my blog and also very little shares from my visitors. Well then this will tell you that the problem is your content.

But not this will hold true all the time. As some content may be more enticing to be commented and discussed while others may just get more shares but little discussion. An average 10-15 comments is considered a good average while shares tend to be more subjective as some have reached shares of thousands (usually news sites: mashable, huffington and etc).

Interact with your users and to have them to know you more. Building relationships first, valuable content, and promote your content. If you’re a one-man show, keep in mind to be laser focus.

 

3: How can I get my 100 users since I have my blog up?

Tips #1: Create a rhythm, stick to it and tweak it!

Many bloggers fails this first test as they fall prey to procrastination, excuses and also weak time management.

Creating a rhythm: While this may not have anything to do with blogging and how you can get better data it is important create a good habit so you can keep generating content on schedule.

Start small, I personally start once a week with a shorter type of blog post to get myself comfortable in writing. Once I get the hang of it, I move onto longer posts and also higher frequency and testing out different topics. My next target is two blog post every week and then two long and one short post in the future.

I specifically like posting on Monday, and Wednesday to allow me time to write and also research. My third post would be somewhere around Friday or Saturday. (I was attending a conference in Hong Kong that had me delayed on my posting last week.)

Generating a rhythm allows your mind to get used to it and you’ll slowly write faster and faster. Keeping a consistency is key here.

One you have a rhythm set, after a month or two tweak it to see if its gets better results. This is the best stage where you would already established a baseline and how your changes can affect the conversion rate better.

Tip #2: Creating the right content for the right audience.

As you’ve seen, i’m dedicating my time to blog for PlaymeAR but it is very limited due to a one person team. While it might sound easy to some to continuously pumping out a lot of GOOD content, the start is not so easy but is the most important. Therefore you need the right content to maximise your effort and making sure your blog will stay relevant and efficient for you and also valuable for your readers.

While having the right content attracting readers can only give you so much unless your attracting other backlinkers and also influencers to help promote your newly created content. As churning content continuously without anyone reading it is no use. It’s better lining up some of other sources to bring in more traffic to your blog.

If you’ve single out a particular niche, make sure to be an expert in that particular niche and be an expert in writing it and growing that brand presence like that.

Some bloggers will backlink and write reviews of blogs to create makeshift content for their readers. This might result in some decent targeted traffic as it is within the same overall niche cluster.

Some of the ways that you can do is roundup posts and ego bait posts. Roundup posts is the more common practice to enrich the influencers and also to get them to share your posts and links to it. This allow the influencers to share on social media.

While ego bait is a more wide range kind of posts. With this strategy, you essentially want to tap into the ego of an influencer or a company with large following. This allows them to look good and of course you can show them that their opinion and point helps to solve readers problem and also created value for others. Follow up with a simple email telling them that the article is published and they can link to it and share as well.

Tip #3: After this, Paid Traffic & Social Media

The reason i combine paid traffic and social media is the worlds largest social media (Facebook) is no longer giving you free traffic from your pages in the page and it comes with a price nowadays. Excluding the personal social media reach you have personally. If you have more money to invest into the business, paid traffic is a faster way to accelerate your growth and it is important for to remember not to rely on paid traffic but it is a great way to get some noise out there.

Make sure you have a lead capturing to collect some subscribers to retarget them with better content as well. Spend time to tweak and test your email opt-in rate before spending your dollars on acquiring traffic. Keep in mind that many successful blogs never paid ads although many of them at some point does spend on ads at some point.

Social media is one of the strategy…

The most popular social media platforms have huge amounts of traffic namely Facebook & Twitter. They have large enough general audience that it is definitely able to contain your target audience.

Building a social media presence will also take time to build and it could go for months before it starts showing any decent traffic.

The reason i combine the paid traffic and social media is because with Facebook you can speed up your social media and also the traffic to your site. This can be done on any kind of niches and also paid ads on Facebook is relatively cheap and has lower entry level to help you build a great website quickly.

Remember the main idea to grow your blog so it can sustain and even start growing the traffic on its own with your content without needing it to rely on social media or paid advertising to help build your channels.

4: Post-mortem your blog and start growing your fans.

Once you reach this stage, your probably know what your audience needs and wants that it is time to further accelerate your traffic growth efforts into turbo drive.

Bear in mind that this takes time to build, continue with your routine and keep the momentum.

Expand your traffic-acquisition strategies.

As of this stage your probably comfortable in writing and can probably write 1 article in a day and spend less time on content creation that is logical to focus on building more traffic. Focus on guest blogging to speed your reach as you now have somewhat an authority with your content published overtime and also setting up joint articles with other influencers of in-direct or direct niches for more coverage.

This allows you to speed things up instead of relying on your existing fan base which will be slower to grow over time.

 

Create a content schedule

Previously i mentioned on how blogging on a regular basis is good for the search engine as well as your readers to get a clear picture of your consistency. This also allows you to gauge what kind of content your readers prefer and like.

Now, it’s necessary to do it on a regular basis. Think about not just those specific types of posts that we looked at but any type of content your true fans may enjoy.

You need to decide how often you want to post and what you will be writing about. A well prepared schedule allows you to plan out your content for the month and the upcoming month.  From this point on you will be getting feedbacks from your existing 100-200 true fans that will allow you to do quick changes to your schedule.

The next benefit would be a more proper schedule to align yourself to get ready and as they say the more one practice the better they become. Therefore it is quite important to have a proper schedule and consistency to improve efficiency but of course this is open for optional decision by you.

Start monetizing your traffic.

Once you start achieving 5,000-15,000 subscribers, you must start monetising the blog as soon as possible. Keep maintaining your step 3 while now channeling some of your time into monetising efforts. At this stage you will easily be achieving about ten of thousands of visitors a month. Once you reach this stage having some monetising segment will allow you to hire content writers, or helpers to help you sell products or deal with upcoming joint ventures and also to the point you need an extra 1 or 2 people to handle the workload.

Once your niche is clear with a product you are selling on your own you can monetise that otherwise you can also refer reputable affiliate offers from sellers of your niches.

What about advertisement placement? It must be planned out properly so it does not ruin your blog look and experience.

5: After monetising, maintain formula and scale.

Hiring
There is a reason why blogs such as mashable and huffington post which started out small turn into a big fledge news portal and have a huge team churning out content day in and day out. The reason is to cater more niches or verticals to attract more visitors and readers.

Definitely if you can afford it, pay them a good amount of money to have at least 70-80% of your output so you can get a healthy ratio of duplicating yourself into many more team mates focusing on working towards a single goal. This allows you to explore into more verticals and do more of the scaling while the team member can do the heavy lifting and are experienced specialist to do so.

Automate
It will be the time where your daily work can be taught to team members and be automated. There are tools and also freelancers to start churning more exciting content for your verticals.

In order to automate your team members and also the process, don’t just hire them and expect them to know what to do. Spend a week to go through with them one by one and after that give that person the authority to teach the ones coming in and so one. Make sure to specialise them into a job scope so they wont get overbear with workload.

Once that is done, let them know they can keep doing the things that will add value to the company / blogs mission and milestones. This allows you to automate things and teams can run even while your not in office.

This is the end of the article.
Ending

The reason why we decided to write this article was also to remind us that blog powered business grows over time and also having a blog for the sake of having it will waste resources and also time.  It cannot be a successful blog overnight and remember that its built with one post by post. We hope you can use these tactics at the right time and also learn more from websites such as QuickSprout, Copyblogger, Neilpatel.com, Buffer.com, and much more!

Note to self and also to you our fans, “Never give up and stop learning about your business, readers and customers and always try to help them as much as possible.”

I appreciate if you can leave a comment to cheer us on or some feedback to help steer us in the right direction!

 

 

 

20 Digital Marketing Tools that helps Online Marketers

Digital Marketing is very rooted into online businesses and to the businesses that rely heavily on online for revenue and business. We’ve break this article into 3 parts that allows easier tools for online marketers or even any individual marketers from home that needs that extra tools to help enhance their online business.  We will focus on 3 main core ideas we believe is essential for everyone to start first with online marketing.

3 Categories:

• Email Marketing

• Content Curation

• Content Creation

• Keyword Research

• Website Analytics Tool

Each category has 3 tools Playme AR team personally tried, heard reviews from first-hand clients or testimonials from others. We hope you can use them to further improve your business anid also to engage  in the online world more effectively. We shall start with the first category that we felt is very important to us and top the list. *The order does not signify importance*

email-marketing-playmear

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is still one of the best targeted platform to reaching out to clients and also businesses that can amass huge lists of very targeted and passionate emails (users) usually command a high converting sales rate due to the lists being very interested in the solution/product. Email Marketing is used in everyday life and with the age of mobile and internat chat apps such as FB Messenger, Whatsapp, Viber and many more Email Marketing still hold a huge deal since the first email was sent in 1971.

1. MailChimp

MailChimp has come a long way since its inception years back fighting in the email marketing space with players such as GetResponse, Aweber and many more. Today it is one of the most advance email marketing platform on the market. MailChimp’s ease of use and also simple platform struct allows amateur email maketers to get it up and running within 10 minutes.

2. Emma

While MailChimp is a very DIY email marketing system, Emma (abbreviation for email marketing) wants to make sure your always well covered with their known very amazing customer service. They are known for the fact they will assist you hands-on and is very good for busy or new email marketers!

3. Marketo

More advance email marketers should be familiar with Marketo, a platform that allows users to combine email into their entire automated marketing campaigns and also email marketing is not to be considered as the only part of a whole strategy as it is by itself a delicate strategy. Marketo is one of the few platforms that unify all marketing channels.

content-creation-playmear

Content Creation

Content is king, everyone know that it is important but whats more interesting is how do you come out with content? Beautiful as well to be able to share with your fans and followers. There are so many formats for content creators to go with such as infographics, blogs, videos and graphics. The biggest dilemma many face is missing one of the other elements. One can have a great blog but measly looking graphics which turn off readers. Thats why we decided to list our top favorites in this list.

4. Canva

This is an amazing web-based design tool that allows any average joe to create unique images to share on their blogs, social network, website, and more! Canva is very intuitive and allow users to create completely unique images from nothing or to improve self-uploaded photos. Its stock photos are available for only $1 a piece. Handy tool for social media images to use its ready made templates.

5. Piktochart

Another great web-based design tool is Piktochart which allow users to easily create beautiful infographics with exciting database of designs and items. The visual makes it much easier to add and edit statistical information and without worrying about design and time-consuming communication with designers.

6. Shakr

Video creation can never be easier with Shakr, a web-based video editing tool with categorical themes and templates readily available for you to add photos and scenes into the moving templated videos. This is helpful to create a more engaging content and make them easily available through your social media, blog and much more!

content-curation-playmear

Content Curation

Information, Content, A grade insights… An experience content creator will share the pain of always having to find time and to create exceptional content at almost most of the time. It is always best to have a few site of content curation tools or websites to help fill in some moment of blankness.

7. Feedly

There is so many blogs, websites, news and person to follow that it makes it hard to keep track all of them in your bookmark. Feedly makes it easy by allowing you to follow those sites and get all content in one single platform. They have many other categories and you can sort them out accordingly to their industries and niches. A must have.

8. Scoop.it

Scoop.it allows you to easily find and share amazing & relevant content to your social networks, blogs and lots more! This saves time for you to find and also going back to our many social media pages to share. Scoop.it allows you to find months of great work in a short time and easily share to your networks without much hassle.

9. Pocket

Pocket is another crowd favorite for marketers that are always on the go and need to consume content during transit. Pocket is a great place to start and collecting your content to use and share later. Pocket are able to keep interesting articles, images and videos in one place for later reference. Pocket is available as a standalone app that fits in your phone which allows more accesibility on mobile.

keyword-research-tool

Keyword Research Tool

10. SEMRush

Yes, now i know why my competitors got that rank higher than me. SEMRush allows users to check what their competitors are ranked for and additional information for the search. This is also #1 for Playmear to find some cheeky keywords to get rank by.

11. Google Keyword Planner

Formerly known as Google Keyword Tool, now it is a called Google Keyword Planner, which allows you to find seed keywords and phrases for your business page and also allow to come up with a basic to export up to 800 suggestions for most seed keywords and phrases. You can then use them to optimize your main business pages as well as come up with great topic ideas.

12. Ubersuggest

An uber awesome tool to find long tail keywords to be included into your website and find better long tail keywords. Uber suggest is considered the best (free) tool to expand on a base keyword and find long tail variations to talk about / include in your article.

web-analytics-tool-playmear

Website Analytics Tool

There is a lot of tools out there that come with their own built performance analytics. Take for an example,  Google Analytics has geolocation analytics that shows where your traffic is coming from. It is still however to have a few different specialised analytics tool to give you a birds eye view of what actually take place on your website.

13. Google Analytics

Having this is a standard and a must for most websites these days. Google has manage to keep improving its analytics into something of a power horse that can give you information of your website, visitors, how and where they come from and also the path they take through your sales funnel. A sexy function is what they do during their stay on your website in real-time.

14. Kissmetrics

This is a totally focused analytics that helps you to increase conversions across your website. This tool allows you to track your site visitors through their entire conversion journey and you can receive reports of which part of the funnel they are at. This helps you to fine-tune the entire website conversion process and allowing web marketers to increase sales and revenue.

15. Crazy Egg

This tool allow users to see what site visitors are doing on your web pages by using the power of heatmap technology.  It functions as when you see the site visitors mouse are located and where they click. It is said that eyes follows where the mouse moves although not 100% accurate but it gives you a ballpark idea of how they react in your website. This allows growth hackers and online marketers to do the minor or major tweaks to their website.

Easy Augmented Reality Creator

Easy Augmented Reality Creator

Conclusion

Have a try with some of the tools above, as some are free while others offer free trials! Playme AR allows users & publishers to create their own Augmented Reality Experience with only drag & drop. We have a free 2 Credits trial worth $40, Sign up now!

This is the end of the article and we hope that some of you may have learn something new and also to be able to share this with your friends or networks. We at Playme AR hope that our article will be of help to you all!

 

Playme Augmented Reality Creator Coming Soon!

Playme AR is just getting started, and we’ve receive overwhelming responses from you our eager early adopters and customers! We are very thankful and happy at the same time at the huge response! Playme Augmented Reality Creator 1.0 is coming to your finger tips soon and we’ll be allowing our early users a free 2 AR Designs (Credits) to use our platform and test them out!

Here’s a sneak peak into what our Augmented Reality Creator can do for an average joe (or marketers) like us that wants to bring digital interactivity to their prints, advertising channel and much more!

Easy Augmented Reality Creator

Features that will be available!

  • Easy Image upload functions
  • DIY Drag & Drop placement without coding
  • Custom button placement with link capability
  • Social buttons placement for social engagement
  • Color changing buttons to match the print designs
  • Alpha Channel function for intermediate users
  • Library to manage your AR Designs

These are just the start of our functions and features of the AR Creator version 1.0!
We’re getting warmed up to bring more goodies to help you make the best of AR for your personal campaign or even business campaign!

Feel free to comment below to let us know what else do you need from us!

We’ll be in contact with our registered users soon!

The case of Stealth Mode Startups… To Stealth or Not to Stealth.

This is the case study of Playme AR from the day of incorporating the company to the development and the lessons learnt along the way. As with many startups pushing to promote its startups to the world being stealthy is usually not the option most take to proceed forward. This is the case for many focusing on user growth and gathering a lot of its users as soon as possible. Lets move on to the pros and cons of being stealthy.

Benefits of Stealth Mode for Startups

  1. Highly focused on development. – This is important for Playme case as our system rely heavily on the app and web app to be able to allow us to scale much faster later in stage.
  2. Better product on launch day. – There is no way to get the perfect product on launch day but having a focused team without pressure will allow you to have a ready product to serve the market. It doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of time with the customers when the basics are not done.
  3. Allowing you to lay most groundwork for future expansion. – It takes time to build something that will scale when its needed to. It makes no sense to build a product without figuring the future plans.

Disadvantages of Stealth Mode for Startups

  1. Not enough feedback to pivot or improve product. – For the case of Playme we did an early research with potential clients and even locked some into agreement and this allows us to proper build Playme to be consumer ready when we launch but it is never perfect.
  2. Giving you a false sense of security and not knowing of competitors. – Not having competitors is unhealthy as it shows there is no market yet but if its blue ocean and there is other parts of the world doing this then it is alright. Being in stealth mode is dangerous as there is no sense of urgency. Spending 2 years to build a minimum viable product or something can be seen as a bad investment. (based on certain industries)
  3. Social Media Interest. – Being stealth makes you unable to tap into the richness of social media and the fanning of word-of-mouth that your product be an answer to their pain. For Playme we were slow to move into this area that made it into a disadvantage for us.

Back in 2013 we were validating and testing out whether there is a need for an Asian Augmented Reality Creator Tool and the response was nice that we decided to move in full-time. Playme AR was in stealth mode for almost 8-10 months of properly developing and i was constantly in the hiring process with fellow local startups such as MobileAds, Piktochart, Splory, DeliveryEat and MyHero that are based in Penang, Malaysia. This caused us to focus hard to build a team that fits with the vision of Playme’s  to make an easy Augmented Reality creation tool.  Our slogan “Augmenting the things around us!”  is so that everyone can make their own AR in the comfort of their own home.

playmear-stealth-mode-ar-creator

Playme AR Creator

It took us to create the tool and now we’re ready to market it out and are just the same as all other startups wondering the questions of whether being stealthy is a good thing for us. We would say it would be 50/50 for us as we need to get the basics up and running while maintaining a small degree of noise to make sure no one has forgotten about us. We had somewhat a small hype on our product but not exactly loud as well. For our case of making sure a fully functional creation tool and flow is achieved and move onto other aspects of upgrades.  Therefore we chose to remain stealth and focused on creating the tool plus with multitude of advancement of the app.

We can say we made a mistake of neglecting our online presence and not making enough impact to gather followings from interested parties. Therefore right now we are refocusing our efforts in building our online presence and moving with the local southeast asian partners to push this forward.

In summary we notice a few positive note to this is that we’ve managed to create our end product and with better upgrades to the initial plan. This allow us to build a great product to match with the growing AR industry that is going around to the world. So decide which is best for your startup and team and keep moving forward towards growing your startups or company.

What do you think of this and share on to be stealth mode or not to be stealth mode.

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