Kotovsky's recipe: a bicycle blog with 6000 unique characters!

Victor, hello. Not so long ago, I noticed that your cycling blog has increased attendance, now it is about 6000 unique / day. Before that, I have never seen anything like this, especially at first glance it seems, well, what can I write about bicycles. And at the same time, commenting is also good, obviously this is not the case for search engines. Of course, you have other posts there, about life, so to speak, but still I don’t quite understand how it happened. So I would like to ask you a couple of questions.

Hello, Oleg, hello, Daria and Egor, hellolife-trip readers. Thank you for the invitation, I will be happy to answer all questions. To begin with, I want to make a small boring clarification - I, rather, have a website, not a blog. A blog is a web log, a weblog where the main part of the material is devoted to the author and his life. I, probably, and ten percent will not get such articles. Therefore, I consider that my site is an edition aimed at visitors, that is, useful information, instructions, explanations, motivation, etc.

A sharp jump and attendant 6000!

A sharp jump and attendant 6000!

1) First, tell me who you are and where are you from?

I live in Estonia, in the city of Tallinn, was born here andgrew up by nationality Russian. I clarify, because I noticed that the citizens of the Russian Federation look at us, former compatriots, as if at some strange foreigners, in a streamlined manner calling them Balts. In fact, we are absolutely the same Russian people, we live almost 100 percent in the Russian information field, listen to Russian music and sit on Russian websites.

On the Internet, I am known for keeping a website dedicated to the spread of the cycling virus. :) In other words, I am an author quite famous inNarrow circles of the resource, the main subject of which is bicycle and travel. The mission is gradually realized, more and more positive feedback - people find for themselves a new hobby, someone changes their worldview, and someone changes their whole way of life.

I am sure that there are a lot of cyclists among your readers, they just don’t know about it yet. :) A bicycle is such a thing that is simply notmay not like it: a person, sitting in an adult in the saddle, after a long break, is delighted, because this is freedom in its purest form.

Many do not even realize that an ordinary personnot an athlete, can safely travel 60-100 km per day and not really tired. It provides fantastic travel opportunities for people of any wealth. For example, I often traveled with a budget of only five euros per day in Western Europe, and I felt great.

Imagine, June, Italy, you roll along the narrowprovincial road, vineyards on the right, field to the left where sheep are grazed. Birds are singing, sheep bells are ringing, a breeze blows in you ... the soul rejoices! At such moments, you realize that all that is needed for happiness is your close ones and the road that goes beyond the horizon.

I sincerely hope that my site will helpaccessible information to all who want to rediscover the bicycle, wake up the spirit of a wanderer who slumbers in many of us. It is a pity that so far in our countries they look at the bike as a child's entertainment, but every year the number of "infected" more and more.

2) We turn to the site. What is the recipe for your success? Can you identify some 1-2 basic things? Some after all are struggling with all their might, seo is used, promoted, and you have this just kind of like a blog for the soul and without promotion.

First, probably, I must say that the personal site- this is not the debut on the Internet for me. I've been creating and monetizing websites for five years, and before that I had been working with forums and blogging. Therefore, when you know what to do, you have a plan and do not fuss, then everything happens by itself.

Success, as webmasters see it, in fact,no, at least, because there is no significant traffic on the site, 5-6K per season is, one can say, nothing. First of all, the site was conceived as my own stool, with which I have the opportunity to read out my opinion. As a result, I do not use seo to a sufficient extent, I don’t buy links, I don’t spin in social networks.

I have a lot of basic things for bloggershave something to say. Firstly, the reason why the overwhelming majority of beginners do not achieve results - they do not fully understand why they need it. At first, they may be amused by the idea of ​​earning money, especially after reading the Finestrips of some popular blogs. :)

But in seo, as you know, there is no money. And blogging too. Therefore, having started earning $ 50 a month after a year of blogging with Adsense, the thought of enrichment disappears from them. Justification is right there: after all, a blog is just a hobby, not a job, it should not make money. And at best, a blog becomes a repository for reports on new travels — yet the accumulated hundreds of readers don’t give up simply to abandon this business.

Therefore, dear beginners and continuingbloggers, if you say that blogging is a hobby for you, you won’t achieve anything. If you say that you are not going to earn money on it, you will not achieve anything. A blog is really not a job, it is a business. Until you set up your attitude towards him as a business process, you will not see serious results. When a blog becomes a business, standard excuses like “I cannot write without inspiration” will cease to appear; you will have to learn.

Now the second. Novice bloggers set wrong goals. The goals of blogging should not be expressed in the amount of money or in the number of visitors. Both of them tend to increase non-linearly, whereas the drop in enthusiasm always happens sharply and unequivocally.

The goal for a blogger is to occupy and master hisinformation niche, and ideally - to become its leader. Coming to the Internet to create another blog about Thailand without strategic objectives is the deliberate loss of the most important thing - time and vital energy. Many, again, find justification in the allegedly obtained experience, but in reality, this experience will only give you the realization that you could not achieve results in this area, whereas in reality - this could change your whole life, come to this correctly.

Third. Fear of competition. I know that many do not really believe in the success of their blog, because there is high competition in a niche, and therefore from the very beginning they do not set ambitious goals for themselves, translating everything into a plane “for the soul”. In general, competition on the Internet is a very capacious topic, and I will not even touch it seriously. I can only say that judging the competition of a niche by the number of sites and blogs in it is the same thing as evaluating the competition of a search query by frequency.

In no case can not be afraid of competition,because it is simply not in blogging. For example, you, as a consumer of content, have never had such that you open the Internet in the morning, but there is nothing to read? Would it really be bad if in the information niche you are interested in every morning there were about ten fresh, topical, topical posts? But this is not! Consequently, the niche is free for bloggers!

Bloggers are not competitors to each other, in any way. Until it reaches the point that several blogs will completely fill the entire niche information space with daily, and even hourly publications, any newcomer can break through, even on a topic as crafty as Thailand.

Fourth. You need to think not as a blogger, but as a publisher. Then comes the understanding of his audience, and the awareness of the mission, and ideas for content, and much more, which a printed publication cannot do without. Every publisher knows the holy rule of "do not sink - do not burst" - this is me to excuses about the fall of enthusiasm and lack of inspiration. Think about it.

In general, Oleg, you can talk about the main features of blogging even a whole day, but since we have an interview format, not lectures, we’ll confine ourselves to these four points.

3) Based on your words, I also getnot really a blog. Yes, personal life is covered here, but 70% of the material is travel information and Thailand. But another question interests, what is thinking like a publisher? To move away from creativity / hobby in the direction of “I write what the audience needs”?

Of course, you do not have a blog in the literal sense of thisthe words. And by the way, the blog is positioned not only by posts about the personal life of the author. The subject that attracts readers can be his personal opinion on issues that are even far from his competence - people just like to get to know the thoughts of this person.

Here you can draw a parallel whenThe television invites a famous singer or actor and asks him about politics and economics. He, nothing in this sense, gives emotional comments, people like it, the rating grows. Take Goblin (opera), he has 80% - not search traffic, and I would not be surprised if the main part of the search queries is connected with his name and the name of the site. This is a blogger, he does not give any useful information to people, and yet, the traffic is just plague.

However, the online edition is not necessarilyto be only a blog or just a site, it is possible and necessary to combine both directions. The ideal option is 50-60% of search traffic for information requests, from which the readership is formed.

As for publishing thinking, you are completelyrights, this is primarily a departure from the “blozhek for the soul” in the direction of work for the target audience. Actually, you have already started to deal with this yourself - you recently publicly abandoned articles related to politics and other kindling topics. You have something to say on these issues, but you can't write it on your own blog, interesting, yes? :) Nevertheless, this is a normal weighted position of the publisher, who feels responsible to his audience.

In general, thinking like a publisher meansview your project as a magazine or newspaper. This automatically means that you cannot afford to depend on your mood, inspiration and other metaphysical excuses. Hence, strategic planning, investing in a project (time or money) and a clear understanding of monetization.

4) Do I need a blogger to write about something personal? I now spread the Finstrips, thoughts not related to travel, success in terms of Egor. You, as I know, not a supporter of this.

Well, since we're talking about blogging, then of courseneed to write about personal. Another thing is the degree of disclosure; everyone chooses it for himself. I’m really not a supporter of frankness to myself, but you are you, maybe if you stop doing this, then some part of the audience will stop reading you. But in general, it is better if the personal blog will not be about the life of your family, but about your attitude to something. Let it be better that people come to read your opinion than about your successes and failures.

About finstripov - my attitude is: publish them only for those who trade in success. If you do not sell your name as a guru, then it’s better to be silent about money. Envious people are much more than you think. Why give them an extra reason to envy, because you have no profit from this.

5) I looked again carefully at your site: no social network comments, no social widgets and apparently groups in social networks, a fairly simple template, no multi-level menu. That is, the impression of a simple small blog, which is clearly not for earnings. So conceived?

I can not say that I even thought aboutsuch questions. I just do not have enough time to engage in more and activity in social networks. The maximum that I can devote to my site is a couple of hours a day, after all, you also need to work. Well, just create a group and repost your articles - what's the point, it does not give a special effect.

As for the design - yes, it is intended, I loveone-piece minimal design. There is nothing distracting from the content, and so far everyone has said that the site itself seems to them to be very stylish. As for navigation, there is something to work on. I do not organically digest drop-down menus, so my menu is simple. I sorted the main materials by topics in the Useful section. In general, I advise readers to more actively use the search on the site, because it looks great.

6) A couple of hours a day ?! And pretty decent traffic at that! I understand that for Internet business monsters, normal traffic amounts to tens of thousands, but for most bloggers, 5-6K is an achievement. I, for example, have to spend all my time to achieve my performance. And I regularly publish articles, and I highlight the right topics about what I’m doing wrong? :) Here on my specific example, you can say what is the error?

Well, with a couple of hours I probably lied a little,because I did not consider communication by mail and social networks with readers here. It takes a lot of time, for example, 300-500 emails per month come only from my personal site. I try to answer right away so as not to accumulate debris, then with this you can somehow cope.

As for traffic, it’s just seasonalsurge, and in June-July, it will return to the values ​​of 3500-4000 per day. However, this is not so bad, considering that I started to seriously engage with the site only last April. I opened it in January 2012, but for almost a year and a half I did almost nothing, as I was extremely busy - I played the game DayZ, I barely had enough time to work. :) Then he took himself in hand, and as a result - got no results.

You do everything right, Oleg, you just needa little more systematic approach. For example, the main mistake (in my opinion) of working with semantics is to write informative articles only on requests with sufficient frequency, in the opinion of the webmaster. I believe that we need to work not with disparate requests, but with information pools in which requests are combined in meaning. For example, you have articles about the island of Samui, some of them are written for regular readers, some are sharpened for the keys. Each article is a clean sheet for search engines, and in order to get traffic on these pages, they need to be displayed in the tops.

But there is a workaround that can bringno less traffic, and often even more, without any promotion and advancement. First you need to go through the WordStatus and collect the main keys, and then sit down and brainstorm to identify all possible requests related to independent recreation on Samui, in general - everything. And those that occur in people only seeking information about the intended trip, and those that arise in longsters.

Do not look at WordStat, think how people canenter requests into a search engine, write out absolutely any little thing you can remember. Frequency - to the bulb. After this is the routine - to isolate informational directions for articles. There should be a lot of them, so some of them can be combined into one article. When writing text, sharpen headings and subheadings for keys. All the little things that you wrote out during the brainstorming process should be dissolved in the text - this will bring you a lot of longtails. At least one small paragraph in the article for such a mini-key.

Now the final chord - you got the nththe number of articles at a decent frequency and three times more - under the low (according to the WordStatu, even, perhaps, zero). The whole low frequency automatically crawls to the top, because there simply won't be any competition. Making a meaningful linking of these articles to more frequent ones - this automatically raises them in the sickle by a mid-frequency query, and strengthens the trust of the site via the high-frequency “island of Samui”.

For complex semantic directions you canapply this method: a large article is written for a large request, for example, “Samui’s beaches”, in which you describe briefly all the beaches of the island, their pros and cons, remoteness, etc. After that, you write one separate article for each beach, but in detail, with a full layout, with photographs, maps, gps coordinates and refer to the main article. Articles about individual beaches are likely to go to the tops and pull the whole query "Samui Beaches".

By the way, others are also docked here.difficult areas, such as "Samui Hotels". A generalizing article full of correct semantics and links to it from the same individual beaches - and the request can go up, but even if you don’t crawl to the first places, you will get a lot of low-frequency traffic, which is lost by those sitting in the tops.

The main thing is that the search engine instead of individualarticles will see a structured pool of related queries, completely overlapping this topic. This is a trust, these are positions and this is targeted traffic. And I want to emphasize - this is not the usual internal linking, when the weight chases from one article to another, but the transfer of semantic (semantic) authority from the top pages to those that are in great competition (articles under mid-frequency).

Of course, many people know about this technique, but fewuses it. People sharpen articles for competitive keys, because of this, they have to deal with terrible competition and buy links, which costs a lot of money, and always threatens Google filters (and in the long run, from Yandex). I recommend to think of anyone who follows the direct path of advancement: how are you going to move requests when the reference factor is minimized even on information sites?

I believe that the one who now invests in useful,well-structured and coordinated content semantics, he will get a head start in the very near future. And by the way, content rich in search semantics is something that copywriters from the exchange cannot give. Such texts can be written only by people deeply versed in the matter.

7) How do you choose the topic of posts, is there anyplan or semantic core? And here immediately, do you use keywords in articles? I'm just trying to understand whether you are betting on search traffic yourself, or whether the reader’s audience is more important to you, or both are immediately and then important.

Semantics is generally the basis of any site, and hereI could speak for hours again, but I will have to get rid of common phrases. Specifically for my personal site, I do not work out the semantics, and just rely on the knowledge of the topic - I am writing about what might be interesting for beginners or continuing cyclists.

There is one feature associated with the semantics of the site -With WordStat, you never get truly live traffic. You can write an article on the mid-range query and even bring it to the top, but as a result you will find yourself depending on the positions in the sickle. It is necessary for other sites to oust you from the top, as most of the traffic is lost, because, say, 1000 visitors came by one key.

My method is to write articles from a position of understanding.questions about which you write. I can roughly imagine what my audience will look for in a search engine, and I try to saturate the text with such nuances. As a result, I have almost all low-frequency queries, I do not occupy particularly high positions in search engines, but the traffic is decent. In general, I sharpen articles for keys, but I don’t bother too much, probably 70% of the content is natural text.

Regarding what traffic is more for meuseful. Of course, regular readers are more important to me, and here I can be proud that at least 40% of the traffic is type-in, mailing, social networks and links from other sites. It is very important to be able to convert random visitors from search engines to regular readers. Here, too, has its own methods, both in terms of content, and the visual component.

Sometimes it happens that some article, sometimes evennot very relevant to the main theme of the site, accidentally get out in the tops and drags tangible traffic. It is necessary to wriggle out, but to do so in order to hook on the part of visitors on this request and direct it to the main content. Take a close look at the page with the glance of a random visitor, given that the text is not read, it is scanned diagonally.

Put prominent links to the textOn other articles with provocative anchors, you can insert clickable pictures with an attractive image - in a word, anything, so that the visitor navigates through several interesting articles and realizes that this is not just another article with rewriting, but a live site with its audience.

8) Do not share other techniques liketo convert a random visitor to a regular reader? That is specifically what can be done for this from not obvious? Because the internal linking now and so everyone uses, and most of the sites are such that it is immediately visible, this is a blog, not the HS. I say, because I recently visited Blogun with GogetLinks for interest, and it's just tin there, and not sites, you can immediately see even with the naked eye.

A random visitor is a person who has switched toyour site by reference, it does not matter whether it is a link in a search engine, social network or forum. These visitors can be divided into two parts conditionally - an otkaznik, that is, one who almost immediately closed the page for some reason and an information seeker who is trying to find something useful.

People leave the page immediately for two reasons -irrelevant content and problems with the site (loading slowly, pops up advertising banner, terrible design, fine print). The second solution is simple - this is a matter of technology. The first one is more difficult, because we don’t know that in the head of a person who clicked on the link to your article in classmates and immediately closed it.

Most likely, he is simply not inclined to read, hethis information is not needed at the moment. Although the text is relevant to the title, it is not relevant to the mood of the visitor. Therefore, I would not fight for the objectors, the main thing is that people do not leave because of problems with the site.

But with information seekers you can work. As I said, people do not read the text, they scan it with their eyes. Remember yourself, clicking on the links in Yandex - I think no one is starting to read an article on 6K characters in all seriousness. You just glance, clinging to some moments - the title, picture, subtitle, frame, selected text, etc. It takes about 10-30 seconds. If the “anchors” interest you, you go back to the beginning and start reading.

Therefore, the content must be neat andstructured: capacious and catchy title, short paragraphs expressing one thought form (2-3 sentences), explaining pictures, semantic subtitles, differing in color of the sidebar, possibly with links to other pages. If you have a travel blog and a lot of pictures, then you must have a caption for each photo, and not “this is a cat in Bangkok,” but something like “this is the same infection that stole fish from Petit’s plate”. Give readers an emotion so that they do not just glide through photos, but get a little more than a faceless image gives.

I wrote above about information pools when inThe limit of a subtopic completely overlaps all possible requests. This is useful for search engines, and even more useful for turning a visitor into a reader. For example, the reader is interested in a trip to the same Samui, and goes through blogs in the Google sickle. Suddenly, he stumbles upon your blog, in which there is absolutely all comprehensive information, first-hand, with the personal assessments of the author and a lot of photos.

While the topic of Thailand will interest him, hewill remain your regular reader. And if you have enough neutral articles on your site, about life, worldview and philosophy, then it is possible that he will become virtual friends.

As for the obvious, well, you are right about it, like asking about the button “Bablo”. :) Everything lies on the surface, just needanalyze and experiment - different things are suitable for one audience. Well, okay, if you are interested in ambiguous solutions, I can give you an example: search banner “refusers” after clicking on the cross slips a banner with a subscription form.

You will laugh, but there is quite goodconversion, especially if you, with a subscription, give away a manuscript with an attractive title. Once a week, the list of published articles is included in the newsletter, and the percentage of referrals is very good. I do not use this technique on my personal site, but not because of the damage to my reputation, but simply to be too lazy to do it, and I don’t chase the readers too.

More well increases the number of internaltransitions (and as a result, conversion to regular readers) a small slider with links to interesting articles that crawls out in the lower corner of the page, when scrolling down. Again, I do not use it, but I know for sure that this is not particularly annoying to readers, but it gives results.

9) It was very interesting to know your point of view on blogging and your approaches. The last thing I wanted to ask is, why did you start websites?

It all started with the banal realization that I gotinto the trap: I make enough money at my work, but I only have one month to live my life. Therefore, I, like many, typed in Google "how to make money on the Internet," read all this mess for about six months, filtered and analyzed.

In the end, began to act, chose forSelf direction - MFA, micronish sites, honed under high bids in Adwords for commercial inquiries. It was possible to hook on this subject, while she had not yet begun to die. Further, after Google stopped loving such sites, I repurposed my activities to create content farms for YAN.

A couple of years ago, looking at all this lack of spirituality, I remembered the fact that I am first and foremost a creator, and decided to open my personal website. :) My friends webmasters whom I told aboutthe plan to open a website dedicated to bicycles was twisted with a finger at the temple - we have one and a half people riding, moreover, we already have several large cycle forums, one strong collective cycle blog and a lot of bicycle social networks.

I knew that I could not only fit into thisthe market, but even to become, sooner or later, the leader of the niche “For beginner cyclists”. So far, I can not assess their achievements, but judging by the feedback that comes to me, everything goes according to plan.

P.S. In my opinion a very valuable interview and full answers. Victor, thank you, I learned a lot of interesting things for myself! Glad you found the time to write all this.

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