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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

How I Put My Site On Steroids

I’ve previously given several good reasons why freelance writers should have a website. Once you’ve got that showcase for you and your work, you’ll need to make sure that people see it. When I launched doublehdesign.com in June 2005, I had 26 unique visitors (and I knew most of those by name) and a paltry 757 hits. By the end of January 2006, that had risen to 620 (Dec: 472) unique visitors and more than 16,000 hits. How did I do it?

I took some advice. Early last year, my husband bought and downloaded a book that promised to share the secrets of the super-affiliates. These are a handful of people who have made megabucks from the internet. Naturally, I was interested to see how this was done. What I didn’t anticipate was that Rosalind Gardner would show me free ways of increasing traffic to my site and raising my profile.

So what were the steps I took? First of all, I wrote some free articles for article directories, with a link back to my site. One of the best of these is ezinearticles.com, in my view. Signing up was simple and seven days after writing my first article for them, I appeared in the search results on Google. I also wrote reviews for a number of consumer reviews sites, which I then linked to from my own site.

I did some keyword research and found the best keywords for my site, using the tools she recommended. I followed some of her advice on site design, though I admit I’ve not implemented that as well as I might. I also got a blog and an RSS feed for my site and submitted both to several directories. I put a search box and a sitemap on the site and made sure there was a place for people to contact me. I also put some free-to-reprint articles on my own site. I also got an Adsense account.

So far, there’s just one recommendation I haven’t agreed with. Rosalind Gardner recommends Elance as a good place to find freelance work, but it hasn’t worked for me. Guru is far better, in my opinion.

So what’s the bottom line? Although Rosalind Gardner’s primary aim is to tell you how to build an affiliate marketing business, the content of her Super Affiliate Handbook works just as well for general profile raising. My stats (which have increased even more this month) prove that. And I’m not done yet. Every so often I go back to the book and look for the next step, and when I’ve got more money to spend, I’ll be carrying out some of her other recommendations. I’ll keep you posted.

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