Expert Answers to ALL Questions (as Long as They Concern Condiments and Blog Traffic)

Really, I do have some good mustard recommendations. But I’ll explore the “expert” notion after a few warm-up sentences. Since I don’t hear a lot of horns honking around here, I have been reading articles about increasing traffic to blogs. I really don’t want to peddle porn (though for a dollar I will email you—in a plain, brown message envelope—a photo of me simultaneously holding a pound of bacon and a garter snake while wearing short-shorts), I am implementing some of the methods proposed by bloggers who really do have folks lining up at their screens to read.

One such paragon is Jonathan Fields, author of the sterling Career Renegade, and who blogs craftily on issues of entrepreneurship, social media, marketing and creativity. One post of late was guested by “traffic-generation specialist” Elysia Brooker, on the topic of article marketing.

You really should read the original post (but don’t leave me here alone and teary eyed), but in essence it discusses the uses of posting articles (including blog posts) to article directories to generate traffic back to your site. The article directories are used by a lot of publications and other sites as a content and syndication source, so you are giving away your material in exchange for your embedding of your blog/site links in the articles. The directories themselves are probed by search engines as well, so anyone stabbed by your sharp wit in an article might very well seek further swordplay on your site.

Ezine Articles Paddle Through Cyberspace
Taking the post to heart, I plunked down an article of mine at Ezine Articles, one of the directory mainstays, and one recommended by Elysia. One of the keys here (for me, at least) is that this was a “How to Write a First-Person Essay” article of mine published a while back in Writer’s Digest, for which I own the reprint rights. It was just listlessly sitting around in a back pocket of my computer, so why not put it to use again and see if it brings any baying of writing bloodhounds to my site?

At Ezine, it’s a simple matter to register and submit (you can put in bio info as well as a link in your post), and then the article is vetted, and in a few days, they tell you if it’s approved and that it went live. Here’s the best part: they told me I earned “Expert Author” status with the posting, which includes them sending out an RSS notice about the article to their list. Finally, I am an expert. (I recommend wasabi mustard with all your sandwiches; I recommend it on cereal too.)

It will be interesting to track any traffic changes as a result of that article posting, but as recommended by Elysia, post frequently. Obviously, your content has to be good (or scandalous), but you can repurpose many pieces if you have a lot of existing content, including blog posts as well. Article topics cover most of the subjects in the known universe. There’s a lot of elaboration from Elysia on directories and traffic-building techniques in the comments section on Jonathan’s site.

Not So Harrowing
One other traffic-building tip, convincingly given me by writer extraordinaire Becky Blanton, is to register to receive the twice-daily HARO (Help a Reporter Out) quote/pitch solicitations. The emails are full of inquiries from writers and reporters working on stories for which they need a quote or an expert angle or an opinion; Becky has had success in answering queries and getting her responses (and her URL) published in various articles. The article subjects range across the board, and the writers can be from publications like Turnip Quarterly up to Atlantic Monthly. If the reporters pick up your statement, they will often post your site link in their articles, which can lead to greater things. Now that I am an expert, I’ll be spouting off frequently.

And a sad goodbye to John Wooden, a genius, a gentleman, a man of strong words and a man of his word. At 99, for my money, he didn’t live long enough, but he changed lives, and not just in the sports world.

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8 thoughts on “Expert Answers to ALL Questions (as Long as They Concern Condiments and Blog Traffic)

  1. Jodi, I knew you would see through all of this article marketing blather to the core of the matter: mustard! And the best place to eat a mustardly dog—the ballpark, on a sunny day. Heaven.

  2. Contributing to the necessary levels of disorientation: near the end of our 5-hour drive through the mountains Friday, I kept looking for a place to stop and eat the tiny watermelon Best Beloved had sliced up for us, but which we’d forgotten to eat during our picnic. (I kept looking because a small insistent voice from the backseat kept asking “Are you looking for a place to stop and eat the watermelon? Are you looking for a place to stop and eat the watermelon? Are you looking for a place to stop and eat the watermelon?” and I could neither stop on the 15% down grade on Iowa Hill Road, nor bring myself to put her out by the side of the road.

    Finally, coming out of the mountains at the freeway in Colfax, she said “Look! Grass!” and we stopped and sat on the grass and ate the watermelon.

    With the frontage road 12 feet away over in that direction, and the freeway 20 feet away in the opposite direction.

    Note to parents: remember, kids only care about one thing. They do not care about The Other Things, just the One Thing. Do the One Thing, and they will be happy.

    It’s that simple, folks.

    Also simple: brown mustard on a hot dog, unless you’re having sauerkraut too, in which case it’s yellow mustard. Wasabi mustard should go with a heavily spinached grilled pepperoncini-marinated pork loin sandwich.

    Chinese mustard is covered in our advanced class.

  3. Joel, sauerkraut on a hot dog is an invasion, but I do fall in line with your other advice. I also admire your recognition of the One Thing—sometimes it doesn’t matter that you lit your hair on fire while you were chainsawing a life-sized representation of the Pieta out of marshmallows; your focus is rewarded.

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