It’s amazing how one little comment or like can lead to a full-blown dialogue.
In my guest post for Sports Monger on the Green this week, I questioned whether Rory would play for EIRE in the 2016 Olympics, as that’s who he’s played for as a junior, or whether he’d be Team GBR as, technically, he’s a Northern Irish golfer.
Yesterday, I got notification that ‘Northern Dating‘ liked my article. “A dating site and golf?”, thought I. “Ho hum, stranger things have happened…” I mulled and proceeded to head on over to their site. Then, I saw the tagline – “Online dating for the beautiful people of Northern Ireland” – the penny dropped.
To cut a long story short, we bemoaned the fact that getting people to publicly follow dating sites is not the easiest of tasks, amongst other things, but then a lightbulb lit up at a couple of comments the author made that rang a bell with me from when I first got darrelldoo4dating.com up and running and started to get into testing.
When you’re starting out blogging, especially in a niche that attracts 60,000 searches a month on the main keywords like ‘online dating’ and ‘dating’, unless you’ve got a blinding offsite strategy, a team of quality writers and a few bucks to throw at a custom design, you’re not going to make an impact against the big boys. Pre-Panda, yes – I got our old site up to third on content and in-linking alone, but that just won’t cut the mustard in this post-Penguin world.
The comments were thus, and you’ll see what I mean when I copy and paste the ones that I mean:-
- “A lot of blogs just drop the key words like join us, join us! lol but I kinda want to write about everything“
- “I started this so people maybe in Northern Ireland would read it but, funnily enough, everywhere but Northern Ireland reads it lol“
- “I also own another website, not sure if it be your thing as its another touchy subject but I’ll let you decide yourself. Its called ultraxcite.com. lol“
From going from blogging about everything dating, in three sequential sentences, the author narrowed down two key target markets within the broad online dating/sex market to focus their efforts on, quite without putting the two and two together. Cross-selling saves having to build up two sets of customers’ trust, critical in a competitive market like dating, where even the most avid followers are often shy about leaving their online trace on the blog.
It was only because I’d been there and done the exact same ‘blog everything dating’ thang that I picked up on it, too. And thus, the following response was crafted…
Hi, right back atcha! Yes, some bloggers do rather ram their product down their reader’s throat – leave that there, shall we? I’ve been across to your http://www.ultraxcite.com site, enough said! Don’t know whether it’s my browser settings, but some of the lingerie links were coming up 404. I was only checking them out in the interests of appraising your site, you understand, and not partaking in any kind of voyeurism whatsoever. Ahem. Swiftly moving on…
…I’ve written a fair bit about blogging on my general site, http://zebedeerox.com – if you want to check them out, just hit ‘SEO’ or ‘blogging’ in the tag cloud it will bring up the relevant articles. But that aspect’s changing all the while and you’re expected to keep up with the latest in search engine optimisation as well as what’s going on in your niche – it’s hard work but ultimately satisfying when you start getting traction.
One widget I’ve not seen on your site is ‘follow by e-mail’ – I think that allows followers to keep tabs with your blog publicly or privately and it may be a way of getting surfers to follow you if they don’t want others to know they’ve been checking out the best Northern Ireland dating sites (I’m fitting a few long tail keywords into my comments, too…).
Given your other site, have you thought about researching really sexy/racy dating articles that you could perhaps rewrite to your own theme on here and then send a link to your other site? For instance, if the lady single (in your story) got herself ‘warmed up’ before meeting her date, there may be something over on ultraxcite that you could link to directly once you’d got your reader in a similar frame of mind? Just sort of blue skying a few ideas.
That said, don’t lose sight of the element of ‘you’ in the posts that will keep your followers loyal; but throwing the odd bit of spice in never hurt.
If you’re targeting Northern Ireland, a few place names, local dating stories and reviews of other Northern Ireland dating site facilities (more keywords!), on or offline (speed dating’s growing in big cities, I’m finding, especially in Australia, for some strange reason), will not only let your readers know where you’re coming from, but also the Google crawlers, giving you a better chance of showing up closer to the top in the SERPs. Dating’s a big niche – like on my dating site, I started writing about everything, but then found ‘BeNaughty‘, ‘adult dating‘, ‘cheekylovers‘ and ‘xxx-site for Android‘ were the main searches Google was sending to my blog. From thereon in, I’ve concentrated on mobile and casual dating and my site’s finally starting to get regular traffic – not massive, but increasing steadily without me really putting in as much work as I should.
Rather than try and cover the whole spectrum of dating, I think your two natural target areas, given your location and secondary website, would pick up organic traffic if you wrote about ‘online dating Northern Ireland’ and ‘dating (encounters) with sex toys/saucy dating/first dates’ – I really do. I hope I’ve not been too presumptuous, there – sorry if it comes across like that.
If you’d like me to write a guest post for your blog (a real rising star in SEO, the guest post), just invite me (Zebedeerox) over through your WordPress dashboard with ‘author only’ rights and I’d be more than happy to, based on a topic of your choosing. That’s what I’m doing on the SMOTG, where your found my Rory article yesterday, guest posting.
And one last thing (blimey, I do waffle when start) – the other key element to SEO this season is the image/Pinterest. I’ve just started to use http://www.stockfreeimages.com/ purely so I can pin posts to Pinterest – here are my boards: http://pinterest.com/zebedeerox/ – like I say, some are sparse, but I’ve only just started to realise Pinterest’s potential. The images just attract more attention in timelines when you share to facebook and allow you to utilise Pinterest.
Right – that’s absolutely enough verbiage from me – feel free to drop me a line any time.
My new best mate from Northern Ireland signed off with: “I’d like to keep in touch, maybe you can give me a few tips if you ever see me go wrong. lol“
Your wish, Northern Dating, is my command…