- 1 Why are Google services attractive to bloggers and internet entrepreneurs?
- 2 Why do every blogger and internet entrepreneur feels like they must work with Google no matter what?
- 3 Why do I sometimes fear Google then?
- 4 Does that mean relying so much on Google is a bad thing?
- 5 Are there good alternatives to Google’s popular services and products?
- 6 Google, through its analytics tool helps me know:
- 7 Any alternatives I can use?
How many Google services or products do you use on a daily basis? You’d be amazed if you sat down and spent a few seconds putting up a list. The list could go beyond three or even five for most people who have regular internet access.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about all the Google services I use as a blogger – and I am afraid to say that I use many of them. Dash over to Danny Brown’s marketing blog to find out how Google is trying very hard to put more of their food on your plate.
I mean as long as you continue consuming (and nodding your head without ever mustering the courage to say no) they’ll continue filling your plate.
May be it is just business sense. May be they are just putting their lens on their competitor’s markets to talk more people into using their services. You never know.
Why are Google services attractive to bloggers and internet entrepreneurs?
You want a You Tube channel? They got it. To get it, you’ll likely create a Gmail account and when you do that chances are that you’ll end up with a Google+ profile too…and then a time will come when you sign up for AdSense to monetize your videos.
You want to improve your blog? That’s good. They have something for you. Talk about Webmaster Central, Google Analytics, Feedburner, Google Trends, Insights, Google Alerts, Doubleclick Ad Planner, Google Adwords and the list goes on.
And all the food is presented in one shiny plate. It is kind of hard to resist plowing into the ‘all things nice’ with your spoon and rushing it to your mouth.
Google, having the reputation as one of the most popular search engine, therefore is a giant that every blogger and entrepreneur feels they must work with no matter what.
Why do every blogger and internet entrepreneur feels like they must work with Google no matter what?
- They want traffic from search engines. This seems to be one of Google’s specialty. They own the secret recipe for better search. But you need to remember that one minute they can point their wand to your website’s direction and you get more traffic. If you make them mad, the same wand may be used to push you down Google’s search engine results pages.
- They want to share videos and screen casts. Google, through YouTube.com, again ranks at the top as the most popular provider for hosting and sharing videos.
- They want to sell products and services. Here again Google gives a ton of promises (‘Create quality sites and ye shall get free search traffic.’). You can get some of these promises for free while in certain instances, you’ll have to buy them, paying for ads, for example.
- They want to test what converts well on their sites. Yea, Google again offers some of the best tools available (for free). You can get information on what your competitors do and how you can improve your site to get the desired results using Google Analytics tool and adwords.google.com, for example.
Why do I sometimes fear Google then?
- Using Google services sometimes gets addictive to the point where one can dismiss traffic from other sites, simply because Google is the king and the rest are just wannabes who envy what the king does. This over-dependence, on one source of traffic for example, can cause a lot of chaos and frustration somewhere down the road.
- Google keeps piling more food on your plate. And whether you like it or not, you will likely be coerced into eating it today, tomorrow and the day after that…and soon make a habit out of this.
- Some alternative services from companies competing with the giant aren’t reliable. They come on the scene and disappear so fast. Some just don’t want to push harder to win the trust of bloggers and so more bloggers feel safe hanging with Google.
- And sometimes I just fear because it is natural. And this also let’s me come up with ideas that make it easy for me to explore different ways to grow my site.
Does that mean relying so much on Google is a bad thing?
It is a company, working to achieve its goals just as much as you do. Before answering this question, you should therefore always answer the why that comes after the what.
Anne: What did you say?
Mary: I hate Google.
Mary: I no longer appear on the first search engine results page for the keyword ‘I hate google’.
See what I mean?
Some one once said, ‘Do not put all your eggs in one basket.’ I guess that was Aesop.
Another man came along and said that it is ok to put all your eggs in one basket so long as you watch the basket. I think the man was Warren Buffet.
But how about doing the two at the same time? It could prove impossible to most people but the eggs would be even safer.
Are there good alternatives to Google’s popular services and products?
Plenty. And you probably know some.
Even though you aren’t going to ditch Google entirely, it is better to have two great persons that you can rely on.
When one breaks your heart, you can run to the other for consolation – as you think about getting back together with the company that messed your heart. Funny.
Google, through its analytics tool helps me know:
- Where my traffic comes from
- Keywords used by people to reach my site
- Content that is popular on my site
- What I can do to get more traffic to my blog
- Sites that link to my blog
Any alternatives I can use?
- It is time I started using Compete, Clicky, Facebook Insights, Quantcast and SiteMeter too. Jetpack, the little plugin by Automattic can also be used by blog owners to understand where their traffic is coming from, the keywords people use to get to the various posts published on their blogs etc.
So, sit down and create a list like the one above, then look for companies glad to help you achieve what Google is currently helping you do. Two or more is better especially when you are talking about growing blogs and websites.
- Guest post. I have talked about the immense benefits that come with guest posting before, so, I won’t waste your time repeating them here again. Just make sure the posts you submit to other blogs are as good as the ones you publish on your own site if not better.
When you are out there pushing posts to numerous blogs, you should look beyond just building a ton of back-links to your site.
Ensure that you guest post long enough on other blogs for your site to stick on people’s minds. Will people remember you when you just write one post for your favourite blog? May be.
But what if you published more guest posts (to a particular blog) for over a period of say six to eight months – even if it was one article every month? You tell me in the comments section below.
- Think about Bing. Yea, you better hurry to Bing Webmaster Central if you haven’t. Verify your blog with them and then submit your site’s sitemap.
Doing that can help you boost your website traffic from this other search engine that never gets much attention as Google.
- Build a brand. Let people be familiar with your name, your blog’s name and what you do. Show people you really care about your blog and that you are ready to help them (and share with them) when they are looking for content on a certain topic. Most of them won’t bother looking for you via Google again.
And even if you don’t like direct traffic, it is time you gave it the attention it deserves and worked harder on making it an effective way to achieve your blog mission (more on this in this ebook) just as you give organic traffic hours of attention.
Make your name synonymous with something, just as Google is synonymous with search and a myriad of other services. You can see what I mean by looking at the about pages and blog posts on Meant to be Happy, Michael Hyatt, James Altucher, Copyblogger, The Sales Lion, Techweez, Entrepreneurs Journey, Problogger, Lorelle, Eventual Millionaire, A Fine Parent, Art of Non Conformity, Entrepreneur on Fire, Tinybuddha, StephanSpeaks, Make a Living Writing, Kikolani, On Blast Blog, Traffic Generation Cafe, Goodlife Zen, Possibility of Today, Copy Jesus, Firepole Marketing (now Mirasee), The Art of Simple, My Wife Quit Her Job, Freelance Folder, QuickSprout, Smart Passive Income, Issa Michuzi, Boost Blog Traffic, Reboot Authentic, Social Media Examiner…
I mean there are just so many bloggers doing some great work, and I don’t mean to puff up the ones who own the sites I have mentioned.
- Don’t underestimate the power of social networking sites. Someone told you traffic from Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest isn’t ‘really that great’? They may be right, but sometimes people fail to see the beauty of something even when it glares them in the face.
Chase the traffic from these sites, experiment, fail, test some more and may be you could be the one writing a post titled: How Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter sends 2000 – 3000 people to my blog on a daily basis.
So work hard on getting more likes, friends and followers on your favourite social hubs. Make your fan page a friendly place. Create valuable content that gets shared and add all that traffic to the ones Google currently refers to your site and you won’t regret diversifying.
It is hard but doable. Seems impossible but is possible. Needs a ton of time and yes you have the time needed. Just get to work.
- Promote your blog offline. I’ve talked about this before. All I want to say is that sometimes we spend a lot of time promoting our sites online (and relying so much on targeted traffic from Google) that we forget we can get better results by spending a few minutes everyday promoting a site offline.
- Build your mailing list. I don’t have a huge mailing list. In fact it has slightly over 280 subscribers right now (Thursday, 1st May 2014) and that doesn’t mean I can’t get more loyal Niabusiness.com readers to opt in. I am working on increasing the numbers and believe that the number will go up up up up.
- Offer free ebooks. How many free ebooks have you read so far? I have come across (and downloaded) some really good ebooks. I have kept some on my computer and refer to them once in a while. There is one particular ebook, The Perfect Site Guide, by Lisa Irby of 2CreateAWebsite that has been in my hard disk for many years now.
In How to drive traffic to your web site (blog) using free ebooks, I talk about creating an opportunity for more people to spread your ebook, click the links in it, get back to your site and opt in to your email list.
So, what do you do?
Before you think about getting more traffic, you’ll have to create an ebook and promote it. But once that ebook gets spread across the web, your links (work) will be spread in so many places.
You can even use the ebook to turn people who stumble upon your PDF file to become loyal readers of your blog or loyal customers. So get down to business. Write that ebook. I am writing mine at the moment (a different one from the one currently available to my email subscribers). So, keep coming back to Niabusiness.com because it will be ready for download soon.
- Offer free podcasts. Let people find you through iTunes. Did you hear the results Glen Allsopps of ViperChill got when he started his podcast? It was amazing.
Many people who had never heard of his site before, found his site via iTunes. That means more subscribers, growth…and who doesn’t want that? And yes, the first two shows can give you something to keep you going if you are working hard to build a profitable business.
His marketing podcasts can be found here. Download them to listen to him share his experiences and learn something.
‘But Glen’s site was already getting lots of targeted traffic when he started podcasting!’ you may say.
Yeah. That’s ok. Different people do things differently. Just do your best to spread your eggs on different parts of the web. It is going to take some time but if you stick to the plan, more traffic sources will be available to you,
Create a podcast. Teach people. And ask them to help you spread the word.
You might also want to check a technophobe’s no tears guide to podcasting.
- Publish a physical book. I know many people are moving away from traditional books to ebooks. If you love print on demand or land a publishing deal, placing your domain name on the book cover and inside the book can help you get new people checking out your site.
Some may then turn into regular visitors.
However, just adding your blog’s address to your book won’t help much. The book must be gripping, entertaining and all that, and the topics on your site should be related to the ones in the book.
So, bring the reader close to you before you even think about them typing your site’s domain name in their web browser’s address bar.
Go out there and be creative. Use Facebook, Twitter, Compete.com, Pinterest, Vimeo, WordPress, Bing, Quantcast, Clicky, Amazon etc in a way that’s never been done before. And don’t be comfortable only with the tools you are currently using. Keep learning about new tools, then use them to grow your website or blog.