The Best Documentaries on Netflix (UK)

From killer whales and dinosaurs to Banksy and Cobain, UK Netflix has a lot of treasure in its documentary vaults.
1. Blackfish (2013)

A damning exposé of SeaWorld and those who sail within her, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s documentary focuses on killer whale, Tilikum. Dragging trainer Dawn Brancheau into a pool and killing her (after two previous, similar incidents), the ‘nature or nurture’ question is given some serious heft - was the floppy-finned, 12,000 pound Tilikum born a killer, or is his cramped captivity to blame? It’s not hard to see why thousands felt the need to boycott SeaWorld upon the film’s release.
Read Empire’s review here.

2. Cobain: Montage Of Heck (2015)
Illustrations, voice recordings and personal photos are just part of the fabric that forms Brett Morgen’s documentary. From troubled youth to tortured teen to rock idol, Morgen keeps things intimate, focusing much more on the man than the icon. Executive produced by Kurt’s daughter Frances Bean, we are given access to unheard songs and even anecdotes from girlfriends pre-Courtney. Dave Grohl may be missing, but Cobain’s parents, sister and Krist Novoselic are all very much front and centre, making this an absolute must-watch for anyone with even the slightest interest in the Nirvana frontman.
Read Empire’s review here.

3. Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010)
The Keyser Söze of street art, Banksy remains a pretty mercurial presence in a documentary that’s ostensibly about another creative type, wannabe documentary maker Thierry Guetta, and his efforts to track down – you guessed it – Banksy. Considering Banksy is behind the film itself, this shouldn’t be too hard, but therein lies the rub. Imagine Labyrinth directed by the Goblin King himself. Is it a mockumentary? A serious statement on modern art? An elaborate April fool? Whatever it is, it’s an edgy doc worth revisiting.
Read Empire’s review here.

4. Catfish (2010)
If you come to this hoping for whiskery river fish, you’ll be disappointed. There aren’t any. But if you’re looking for a bumpy ride through the minefield that is modern online interaction, Catfish will hit the spot. New York photographer Nev Schulman meets and bonds with an eight-year-old artist, Abby Pierce, via Facebook. From there, he falls for Abby's older half-sister, Megan, over the same medium, only to find her suspiciously reluctant to meet. It turns out she’s not quite who she claims to be. But is he being played or are we?
Read Empire’s review here.

5. The Look Of Silence (2014)
If you’ve not seen 2012’s The Act Of Killing, return to this when you have. Seen it now? Good. Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow-up to his critically-lauded and genuinely harrowing documentary is just as acclaimed and just as painful. This time Oppenheimer’s focus turns to a specific family who were affected by the 1965 Indonesian communist genocide and now live their life in silence. Not for the easily upset.
Read Empire’s review here.

6. West Of Memphis (2012)
Aided and abetted by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh under their WingNut Films marque, this stunning documentary sets about righting some pretty grevious wrongs. The title refers to teenagers Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr., who were convicted of murdering three children in 1993. Wrongly, as Amy J. Berg's doc establishes, as it shows up one miscarriage of justice after another. One of very few docs to garner five Empire stars and richly deserving of them all.
Read Empire’s review here.

7. Nas: Time Is Illmatic (2014)
"Life’s a bitch and then you die,” rapped Nas on his 1994 recordIllmatic. The hip-hop icon might not have been so gloomy if they'd had Netflix back in 1994 – not with docs like this fan-pleasing homage to a classic LP to enjoy. It’s also an engaging origin story for Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, a nuggety young rapper who emerged with remarkable self-assurance from the projects of Queens to conquer the Billboard chart.
Read Empire's review here.

8. The Queen Of Versailles (2012)
One of those stories that feels too far-fetched to be anything other than true, this modern-day fable is Citizen Kane by way of The Big Short. Greed, hubris and epic delusions of grandeur collide with the economic downturn as Jackie Seigel tries to create a vast Xanadu in the Florida swamplands and ends up with the world's biggest ruin instead. As the Seigels survey their broken down behemoth and try to derive some meaning from a life that's deprived them of the three indoor swimming pools and two bowling alleys they'd planned, it's hard to know whether to laugh, cry or send money.
Read Empire’s review here.

9. The Square (2013)
Netflix's first ever Oscar nominee, The Square peels back the news headlines and TV reportage to document the human side of 2011's Arab Spring in Cairo's Tahrir Square. It's as hard-hitting and visceral as you'd expect from footage recorded by the young revolutionaries protesting against Hosni Mubarak. It's an enthralling front row seat in these young people's battle to topple a corrupt and decaying regime.
Read Empire’s review here.

10. The Central Park Five (2012)
Ken Burns – rightly acclaimed as a master documentarian for his work on landmark PBS films like The Civil War and Prohibition – here turns his focus to more recent history. In 1989, a female jogger in New York City’s Central Park was assaulted and raped. The mass public outrage that followed, fuelled by the press, led to five black teenangers being wrongly convicted. Burns explores mob mentality and an inflammatory media at a turbulent time in New York’s history; his film led to the city settling with the defendants for $41m.

How to Add an RSS Feed to a Web Page

RSS, which stands for Rich Site Summary, but is also often known as Really Simple Syndication, is a commonly used format for publishing a "feed" of content. Blog articles, press releases, updates, or other regularly updated content are all logical candidates for getting a RSS feed.

It's easy to add an RSS feed to your Web page or even add it to every page in your website should that be what you decide to do.

RSS enabled browsers will then see the link and allow readers to subscribe automatically. Addditionally, search engines will see the feed when it's linked in the HTML. Once you'vecreated your RSS feed, you'll want to link to it so your readers can find it.
Link to Your RSS with a Standard Link

The easiest way to link to your RSS file is with a standard HTML link.

I recommend pointing to the full URL of your feed, even if you normally use relative path links. One example of this using just a text link is:Subscribe to What's New


Subscribe to What's New

If you want to get fancier, you can use a feed icon along with your link (or as the standalone link). The standard icon used for RSS feeds is an orange square with white radio waves on it. Using this icon is a great way to let people immediately know what that link goes to. Subscribe to What's New


You can put these links anywhere on your site that you want to suggest people subscribe to your feed.
Add Your Feed to the HTML

Many modern browsers have a way to detect RSS feeds and then give the readers an opportunity to subscribe to them, but they can only detect the feeds if you tell them they are there. You do this with the link tag in the head of your HTML:

Ads
How to Add
Web Design and Seo
How to Web Page Design
Seo Website Link
How to Seo a Website

Then, in various locations, the Web browserwill see the feed, and provide a link to it in the browser chrome. For example, if you go to my previous articles page. In Firefox you'll see a link to the RSS in the URL box. You can then subscribe directly to the What's New feed without visiting any other page.

The most effective way to use this is to add the into the head of all your HTML pages with an include.
RSS Usage Today

While still a popular format for many readers, RSS is not as popular today as it once was. Many websites that used to publish their content in RSS format have stopped doing so and popular readers, including Google Reader, have been discontinued due to ever dwindling user numbers.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #22

Day #22 - Be Consistent and Don't Give Up

If there's one piece of advice I wish I could share with every blogger, it's this:



The above image comes from Everywhereist's analytics. Geraldine could have given up 18 months into her daily blogging. After all, she was putting in 3-5 hours each day writing content, taking photos, visiting sites, coming up with topics, trying to guest blog and grow her Twitter followers and never doing any SEO (don't ask, it's a running joke between us). And then, almost two years after her blog began, and more than 500 posts in, things finally got going. She got some nice guest blogging gigs, had some posts of hers go "hot" in the social sphere, earned mentions on some bigger sites, then got really big press from Time's Best Blogs of 2011.

I'd guess there's hundreds of new bloggers on the web each day who have all the opportunity Geraldine had, but after months (maybe only weeks) of slogging away, they give up.

When I started the Moz blog in 2004, I had some advantages (mostly a good deal of marketing and SEO knowledge), but it was nearly 2 years before the blog could be called anything like a success. Earning traffic isn't rocket science, but it does take time, perseverance and consistency. Don't give up. Stick to your schedule. Remember that everyone has a few posts that suck, and it's only by writing and publishing those sucky posts that you get into the habit necessary to eventually transform your blog into something remarkable.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #21

Day #21 - Uncover the Links of Your Fellow Bloggers (and Nab 'em!)

If other blogs in your niche have earned references from sites around the web, there's a decent chance that they'll link to you as well. Conducting competitive link research can also show you what content from your competition has performed well and the strategies they may be using to market their work. To uncover these links, you'll need to use some tools.

OpenSiteExplorer is my favorite, but I'm biased (it's made by Moz). However, it is free to use - if you create a registered account here, you can get unlimited use of the tool showing up to 1,000 links per page or site in perpetuity.



There are other good tools for link research as well, including Majestic, Ahrefs and, I've heard that in the near-future, SearchMetrics.

Finding a link is great, but it's through the exhaustive research of looking through dozens or hundreds that you can identify patterns and strategies. You're also likely to find a lot of guest blogging opportunities and other chances for outreach. If you maintain a great persona and brand in your niche, your ability to earn these will rise dramatically.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #20

Day #20 - Connect Your Web Profiles and Content to Your Blog

Many of you likely have profiles on services like YouTube, Slideshare, Yahoo!, DeviantArt and dozens of other social and Web 1.0 sites. You might be uploading content to Flickr, to Facebook, to Picasa or even something more esoteric like Prezi. Whatever you're producing on the web and wherever you're doing it, tie it back to your blog.

Including your blog's link on your actual profile pages is among the most obvious, but it's also incredibly valuable. On any service where interaction takes place, those interested in who you are and what you have to share will follow those links, and if they lead back to your blog, they become opportunities for capturing a loyal visitor or earning a share (or both!). But don't just do this with profiles - do it with content, too! If you've created a video for YouTube, make your blog's URL appear at the start or end of the video. Include it in the description of the video and on the uploading profile's page. If you're sharing photos on any of the dozens of photo services, use a watermark or even just some text with your domain name so interested users can find you.

If you're having trouble finding and updating all those old profiles (or figuring out where you might want to create/share some new ones), KnowEm is a great tool for discovering your own profiles (by searching for your name or pseudonyms you've used) and claiming profiles on sites you may not yet have participated in.

I'd also strongly recommend leveraging Google's relatively new protocol for rel=author. AJ Kohn wrote a great post on how to set it up here, and Yoast has another good one on building it into Wordpress sites. The benefit for bloggers who do build large enough audiences to gain Google's trust is earning your profile photo next to all the content you author - a powerful markup advantage that likely drives extra clicks from the search results and creates great, memorable branding, too.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #19

Day #19 - Aggregate the Best of Your Niche

Bloggers, publishers and site owners of every variety in the web world love and hate to be compared and ranked against one another. It incites endless intrigue, discussion, methodology arguments and competitive behavior - but, it's amazing for earning attention. When a blogger publishes a list of "the best X" or "the top X" in their field, most everyone who's ranked highly praises the list, shares it and links to it. Here's an example from the world of marketing itself:



That's a screenshot of the AdAge Power 150, a list that's been maintained for years in the marketing world and receives an endless amount of discussion by those listed (and not listed). For example, why is SEOmoz's Twitter score only a "13" when we have so many more followers, interactions and retweets than many of those with higher scores? Who knows. But I know it's good for AdAge. :-)

Now, obviously, I would encourage anyone building something like this to be as transparent, accurate and authentic as possible. A high quality resource that lists a "best and brightest" in your niche - be they blogs, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, individual posts, people, conferences or whatever else you can think to rank - is an excellent piece of content for earning traffic and becoming a known quantity in your field.

Oh, and once you do produce it - make sure to let those featured know they've been listed. Tweeting at them with a link is a good way to do this, but if you have email addresses, by all means, reach out. It can often be the start of a great relationship!

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #18

Day #18 - Add Value to a Popular Conversation

Numerous niches in the blogosphere have a few "big sites" where key issues arise, get discussed and spawn conversations on other blogs and sites. Getting into the fray can be a great way to present your point-of-view, earn attention from those interested in the discussion and potentially get links and traffic from the industry leaders as part of the process.

You can see me trying this out with Fred Wilson's AVC blog last year (an incredibly popular and well-respected blog in the VC world). Fred wrote a post about Marketing that I disagreed with strongly and publicly and a day later, he wrote a follow-up where he included a graphic I made AND a link to my post.

If you're seeking sources to find these "popular conversations," Alltop, Topsy, Techmeme (in the tech world) and their sister sites MediaGazer, Memeorandum and WeSmirch, as well as PopURLs can all be useful.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #17

Day #17 - Survey Your Readers

Web surveys are easy to run and often produce high engagement and great topics for conversation. If there's a subject or discussion that's particularly contested, or where you suspect showing the distribution of beliefs, usage or opinions can be revealing, check out a tool like SurveyMonkey (they have a small free version) or PollDaddy. Google Docs also offers a survey tool that's totally free, but not yet great in my view.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #16

Day #16 - Use Your Email Connections (and Signature) to Promote Your Blog

As a blogger, you're likely to be sending a lot of email out to others who use the web and have the power to help spread your work. Make sure you're not ignoring email as a channel, one-to-one though it may be. When given an opportunity in a conversation that's relevant, feel free to bring up your blog, a specific post or a topic you've written about. I find myself using blogging as a way to scalably answer questions - if I receive the same question many times, I'll try to make a blog post that answers it so I can simply link to that in the future.



I also like to use my email signature to promote the content I share online. If I was really sharp, I'd do link tracking using a service like Bit.ly so I could see how many clicks email footers really earn. I suspect it's not high, but it's also not 0.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #15

Day #15 - Attend and Host Events

Despite the immense power of the web to connect us all regardless of geography, in-person meetings are still remarkably useful for bloggers seeking to grow their traffic and influence. The people you meet and connect with in real-world settings are far more likely to naturally lead to discussions about your blog and ways you can help each other. This yields guest posts, links, tweets, shares, blogroll inclusion and general business development like nothing else.



I'm a big advocate of Lanyrd, an event directory service that connects with your social networks to see who among your contacts will be at which events in which geographies. This can be phenomenally useful for identifying which meetups, conferences or gatherings are worth attending (and who you can carpool with).

The founder of Lanyrd also contributed this great answer on Quora about other search engines/directories for events (which makes me like them even more).

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #14

Day #14 - Enable Subscriptions via Feed + Email (and track them!)

If someone drops by your site, has a good experience and thinks "I should come back here and check this out again when they have more posts," chances are pretty high (I'd estimate 90%+) that you'll never see them again. That sucks! It shouldn't be the case, but we have busy lives and the Internet's filled with animated gifs of cats.

In order to pull back some of these would-be fans, I highly recommend creating an RSS feed using Feedburner and putting visible buttons on the sidebar, top or bottom of your blog posts encouraging those who enjoy your content to sign up (either via feed, or via email, both of which are popular options).



If you're using Wordpress, there's some easy plugins for this, too.

Once you've set things up, visit every few weeks and check on your subscribers - are they clicking on posts? If so, which ones? Learning what plays well for those who subscribe to your content can help make you a better blogger, and earn more visits from RSS, too.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #13

Day #13 - Participate in Q+A Sites

Every day, thousands of people ask questions on the web. Popular services like Yahoo! Answers,Answers.com, Quora, StackExchange, Formspring and more serve those hungry for information whose web searches couldn't track down the responses they needed.

The best strategy I've seen for engaging on Q+A sites isn't to answer every question that comes along, but rather, to strategically provide high value to a Q+A community by engaging in those places where:
The question quality is high, and responses thus far have been thin
The question receives high visibility (either by ranking well for search queries, being featured on the site or getting social traffic/referrals). Most of the Q+A sites will show some stats around the traffic of a question
The question is something you can answer in a way that provides remarkable value to anyone who's curious and drops by

I also find great value in answering a few questions in-depth by producing an actual blog post to tackle them, then linking back. This is also a way I personally find blog post topics - if people are interested in the answer on a Q+A site, chances are good that lots of folks would want to read it on my blog, too!

Just be authentic in your answer, particularly if you're linking. If you'd like to see some examples, Ianswer a lot of questions at Quora, frequently include relevant links, but am rarely accused of spamming or link dropping because it's clearly about providing relevant value, not just getting a link for SEO (links on most user-contributed sites are "nofollow" anyway, meaning they shouldn't pass search-engine value). There's a dangerous line to walk here, but if you do so with tact and candor, you can earn a great audience from your participation.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #12

Day #12 - Interact on Other Blogs' Comments

As bloggers, we see a lot of comments. Many are spam, only a few add real value, and even fewer are truly fascinating and remarkable. If you can be in this final category consistently, in ways that make a blogger sit up and think "man, I wish that person commented here more often!" you can achieve great things for your own site's visibility through participation in the comments of other blogs.

Combine the tools presented in #10 (particularly FWE) and #4 (especially FollowerWonk) for discovery. The feed subscriber counts in Google Reader can be particularly helpful for identifying good blogs for participation. Then apply the principles covered in this post on comment marketing.



Do be conscious of the name you use when commenting and the URL(s) you point back to. Consistency matters, particularly on naming, and linking to internal pages or using a name that's clearly made for keyword-spamming rather than true conversation will kill your efforts before they begin.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #11

Day #11 - Incorporate Great Design Into Your Site

The power of beautiful, usable, professional design can't be overstated. When readers look at a blog, the first thing they judge is how it "feels" from a design and UX perspective. Sites that use default templates or have horrifying, 1990's design will receive less trust, a lower time-on-page, fewer pages per visit and a lower likelihood of being shared. Those that feature stunning design that clearly indicates quality work will experience the reverse - and reap amazing benefits.


These threads - 1, 2, 3 and 4 - feature some remarkable blog designs for inspiration

If you're looking for a designer to help upgrade the quality of your blog, there's a few resources I recommend:
Dribbble - great for finding high quality professional designers
Forrst - another excellent design profile community
Behance - featuring galleries from a wide range of visual professionals
Sortfolio - an awesome tool to ID designers by region, skill and budget
99 Designs - a controversial site that provides designs on spec via contests (I have mixed feelings on this one, but many people find it useful, particularly for budget-conscious projects)

This is one area where budgeting a couple thousand dollars (if you can afford it) or even a few hundred (if you're low on cash) can make a big difference in the traffic, sharing and viral-impact of every post you write.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #10

Day #10 - Guest Blog (and Accept the Guest Posts of Others)

When you're first starting out, it can be tough to convince other bloggers to allow you to post on their sites OR have an audience large enough to inspire others to want to contribute to your site. This is when friends and professional connections are critical. When you don't have a compelling marketing message, leverage your relationships - find the folks who know you, like you and trust you and ask those who have blog to let you take a shot at authoring something, then ask them to return the favor.

Guest blogging is a fantastic way to spread your brand to new folks who've never seen your work before, and it can be useful in earning early links and references back to your site, which will drive direct traffic and help your search rankings (diverse, external links are a key part of how search engines rank sites and pages). Several recommendations for those who engage in guest blogging:
Find sites that have a relevant audience - it sucks to pour your time into writing a post, only to see it fizzle because the readers weren't interested. Spend a bit more time researching the posts that succeed on your target site, the makeup of the audience, what types of comments they leave and you'll earn a much higher return with each post.
Don't be discouraged if you ask and get a "no" or a "no response." As your profile grows in your niche, you'll have more opportunities, requests and an easier time getting a "yes," so don't take early rejections too hard and watch out - in many marketing practices, persistence pays, but pestering a blogger to write for them is not one of these (and may get your email address permanently banned from their inbox).
When pitching your guest post make it as easy as possible for the other party. When requesting to post, have a phenomenal piece of writing all set to publish that's never been shared before and give them the ability to read it. These requests get far more "yes" replies than asking for the chance to write with no evidence of what you'll contribute. At the very least, make an outline and write a title + snippet.
Likewise, when requesting a contribution, especially from someone with a significant industry profile, asking for a very specific piece of writing is much easier than getting them to write an entire piece from scratch of their own design. You should also present statistics that highlight the value of posting on your site - traffic data, social followers, RSS subscribers, etc. can all be very persuasie to a skeptical writer.

Be aware that Google's recently cracked down on guest blog posts and guest blog tools that focus exclusively on attracting links. While links can be a nice byproduct of a relevant, useful, and high quality contribution to another site, it can look very fishy to Google if all your links are coming from guest contributions that appear to have little relevance and low quality. Moz's Jen Lopez wrote an excellent summation of the new rules for guest posting here.

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ are also great places to find guest blogging opportunities. In particular, check out the profiles of those you're connected with to see if they run blogs of their own that might be a good fit. Google's Blog Search function and services like BuzzSumo or Fresh Web Explorer are also solid tools for discovery.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #9

Day #9 - Participate in Social Sharing Communities Like Reddit + StumbleUpon


The major social networking sites aren't alone in their power to send traffic to a blog. Social community sites like Reddit (which now receives more than 2 billion! with a "B"! views each month),StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Tumblr, Care2 (for nonprofits and causes), GoodReads (books), Ravelry(knitting), Newsvine (news/politics) and many, many more (Wikipedia maintains a decent, though not comprehensive list here).

Each of these sites have different rules, formats and ways of participating and sharing content. As with participation in blog or forum communities described above in tactic #2, you need to add value to these communities to see value back. Simply drive-by spamming or leaving your link won't get you very far, and could even cause a backlash. Instead, learn the ropes, engage authentically and you'll find that fans, links and traffic can develop.

These communities are also excellent sources of inspiration for posts on your blog. By observing what performs well and earns recognition, you can tailor your content to meet those guidelines and reap the rewards in visits and awareness. My top recommendation for most bloggers is to at least check whether there's an appropriate subreddit in which you should be participating. Subreddits and their search function can help with that.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #8

Day #8 - Frequently Reference Your Own Posts and Those of Others

The web was not made for static, text-only content! Readers appreciate links, as do other bloggers, site owners and even search engines. When you reference your own material in-context and in a way that's not manipulative (watch out for over-optimizing by linking to a category, post or page every time a phrase is used - this is almost certainly discounted by search engines and looks terrible to those who want to read your posts), you potentially draw visitors to your other content AND give search engines a nice signal about those previous posts.

Perhaps even more valuable is referencing the content of others. The biblical expression "give and ye shall receive," perfectly applies on the web. Other site owners will often receive Google Alerts (or, if they're using Moz, they might get Fresh Alerts :-) ) or look through their incoming referrers (as I showed above in tip #5) to see who's talking about them and what they're saying. Linking out is a direct line to earning links, social mentions, friendly emails and new relationships with those you reference. In its early days, this tactic was one of the best ways we earned recognition and traffic with the Moz blog and the power continues to this day.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #7

Day #7 - Conduct Keyword Research While Writing Your Posts

Not surprisingly, a big part of showing up in search engines is targeting the terms and phrases your audience are actually typing into a search engine. It's hard to know what these words will be unless you do some research, and luckily, there's a free tool from Google to help called the AdWords Keyword Planner.

Type some words at the top, hit search and AdWords will show you phrases that match the intent and/or terms you've employed. There's lots to play around with here, but watch out in particular for the keyword filters, keyword options, and include/exclude features:



When you choose "exact match" AdWords will show you only the quantity of searches estimated for that precise phrase. If you use broad match, they'll include any search phrases that use related/similar words in a pattern they think could have overlap with your keyword intent (which can get pretty darn broad). "Phrase match" will give you only those phrases that include the word or words in your search - still fairly wide-ranging, but between "exact" and "broad."

I also use and recommend Keywordtool.io, which mines keywords from Google's Suggest function:



When you're writing a blog post, keyword research is best utilized for the title and headline of the post. For example, if I wanted to write a post here on Moz about how to generate good ideas for bloggers, I might craft something that uses the phrase "blog post ideas" or "blogging ideas" near the front of my title and headline, as in "Blog Post Ideas for When You're Truly Stuck," or "Blogging Ideas that Will Help You Clear Writer's Block."

Optimizing a post to target a specific keyword isn't nearly as hard as it sounds. 80% of the value comes from merely using the phrase effectively in the title of the blog post, and writing high quality content about the subject. If you're interested in more, read Perfecting Keyword Targeting and On-Page Optimization.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #6

#6 - Add Graphics, Photos and Illustrations (with link-back licensing)

If you're someone who can produce graphics, take photos, illustrate or even just create funny doodles in MS Paint, you should leverage that talent on your blog. By uploading and hosting images (or using a third-party service like Flickr or Niice to embed your images with licensing requirements on that site), you create another traffic source for yourself via Image Search, and often massively improve the engagement and enjoyment of your visitors.

When using images, I highly recommend creating a way for others to use them on their own sites legally and with permission, but in such a way that benefits you as the content creator. For example, you could have a consistent notice under your images indicating that re-using is fine, but that those who do should link back to this post. You can also post that as a sidebar link, include it in your terms of use, or note it however you think will get the most adoption.

Some people will use your images without linking back, which sucks. However, you can find them by employing the Image Search function of "similar images," shown below:



Clicking the "similar" link on any given image will show you other images that Google thinks look alike, which can often uncover new sources of traffic. Just reach out and ask if you can get a link, nicely. Much of the time, you'll not only get your link, but make a valuable contact or new friend, too!

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #5

Install Analytics and Pay Attention to the Results

At the very least, I'd recommend most bloggers install Google Analytics (which is free), and watch to see where visits originate, which sources drive quality traffic and what others might be saying about you and your content when they link over. If you want to get more advanced, check out this post on 18 Steps to Successful Metrics and Marketing.

Here's a screenshot from the analytics of my wife's travel blog, the Everywhereist:



As you can see, there's all sorts of great insights to be gleaned by looking at where visits originate, analyzing how they were earned and trying to repeat the successes, focus on the high quality and high traffic sources and put less effort into marketing paths that may not be effective. In this example, it's pretty clear that Facebook and Twitter are both excellent channels. StumbleUpon sends a lot of traffic, but they don't stay very long (averaging only 36 seconds vs. the general average of 4 minutes!).

Employing analytics is critical to knowing where you're succeeding, and where you have more opportunity. Don't ignore it, or you'll be doomed to never learn from mistakes or execute on potential.

How to increase Blog Traffoc - Day #4

4 - Use Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to Share Your Posts & Find New Connections

Twitter has 271 million active users every month. Facebook has over 1 billion active users. 

Google+ has over 300 million. LinkedIn is over 300 million. Together, these networks are attracting vast amounts of time and interest from Internet users around the world, and those that participate on these services fit into the "content distributors" description above, meaning they're likely to help spread the word about your blog.

Leveraging these networks to attract traffic requires patience, study, attention to changes by the social sites and consideration in what content to share and how to do it. My advice is to use the following process:

If you haven't already, register a personal account and a brand account at each of the following -Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn (those links will take you directly to the registration pages for brand pages). 

Fill out each of those profiles to the fullest possible extent - use photos, write compelling descriptions and make each one as useful and credible as possible. 

Research shows that profiles with more information have a significant correlation with more successful accounts (and there's a lot of common sense here, too, given that spammy profiles frequently feature little to no profile work).

Connect with users on those sites with whom you already share a personal or professional relationships, and start following industry luminaries, influencers and connectors. Services like FollowerWonk and CircleCount can be incredible for this:


Start sharing content - your own blog posts, those of peers in your industry who've impressed you and anything that you feel has a chance to go "viral" and earn sharing from others.
Interact with the community - use hash tags, searches and those you follow to find interesting conversations and content and jump in! Social networks are amazing environment for building a brand, familiarizing yourself with a topic and the people around it, and earning the trust of others through high quality, authentic participation and sharing

If you consistently employ a strategy of participation, share great stuff and make a positive, memorable impression on those who see your interactions on these sites, your followers and fans will grow and your ability to drive traffic back to your blog by sharing content will be tremendous. 

For many bloggers, social media is the single largest source of traffic, particularly in the early months after launch, when SEO is a less consistent driver.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #3

Make Your Blog's Content SEO-Friendly

Search engines are a massive opportunity for traffic, yet many bloggers ignore this channel for a variety of reasons that usually have more to do with fear and misunderstanding than true problems. 

In 2016, Google will see over 6 billion daily searches from around the world, and that number is only growing:


sources: Comscore + Google

Taking advantage of this massive traffic opportunity is of tremendous value to bloggers, who often find that much of the business side of blogging, from inquiries for advertising to guest posting opportunities to press and discovery by major media entities comes via search.

SEO for blogs is both simple and easy to set up, particularly if you're using an SEO-friendly platform like Wordpress, Drupal or Joomla. For more information on how to execute on great SEO for blogs, check out the following resources:


Don't let bad press or poor experiences with spammers (spam is not SEO) taint the amazing power and valuable contributions SEO can make to your blog's traffic and overall success. 


20% of the effort and tactics to make your content optimized for search engines will yield 80% of the value possible; embrace it and thousands of visitors seeking exactly what you've posted will be the reward.

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #2

#2 - Participate in the Communities Where Your Audience Already Gathers

Advertisers on Madison Avenue have spent billions researching and determining where consumers with various characteristics gather and what they spend their time doing so they can better target their messages. 

They do it because reaching a group of 65+ year old women with commercials for extreme sports equipment is known to be a waste of money, while reaching an 18-30 year old male demographic that attends rock-climbing gyms is likely to have a much higher ROI.

Thankfully, you don't need to spend a dime to figure out where a large portion of your audience can be found on the web. 

In fact, you probably already know a few blogs, forums, websites and social media communities where discussions and content are being posted on your topic (and if you don't a Google search will take you much of the way). 

From that list, you can do some easy expansion using a web-based tool like Google's Display Planner:Once you've determined the communities where your soon-to-be-readers gather, you can start participating. 

Create an account, read what others have written and don't jump in the conversation until you've got a good feel for what's appropriate and what's not. 

Link-drop, spam or troll and you'll get a quick boot, or worse, a reputation as a blogger no one wants to associate with.

The Secrets of the Universe unveiled - Looks like a pair of boobs




So my quiet Thursday afternoon was interrupted with the news that "Scientists are claiming a stunning discovery in their quest to fully understand gravity"

According to the BBC scientists have observed the warping of space-time generated by the collision of two black holes more than a billion light-years from Earth.

The international team says the first detection of these gravitational waves will usher in a new era for astronomy.

It is the culmination of decades of searching and could ultimately offer a window on the Big Bang. Basically it looks like a pair of twisting boobs.

Great work science, now how about you focus as to hover boards.

Credit: BBC

Battlestar Galactica slowly edges towards the big screen


Battlestar Galactica


With the return  returns of Star Wars: The Force Awakens may just have had studios scrambling to their cupboards to see what sci-fi and space projects they have locked away there. Universal? It's found its long-in-gestation big screen take on Battlestar Galactica.
Bryan Singer was set to bring this one to the screen, based more on the original television series than the Sci-Fi channel reboot. Singer, though, then rejoined the X-Men movie franchise (which has taken up a fair amount of his subsequent time), and his next film after this summer's X-Men: Apocalypse is 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea for Fox.
He remains involved with Battlestar Galactica (according to Den of Geek) understand, and is still the only director we know of attached to the project. He's certainly still serving as executive producer at least.
But the latest news is that Universal has hired a producer to give the project a kickstart.
Michael De Luca, whose credits include The Social Network, the Fifty Shades films and Moneyball, is going to oversee this one. The latest draft of the screenplay was penned by Jack Paglen, who previously wrote Transcendence. And we're expecting real movement on the new Battlestar Galactica shortly.
Credit: Den of Geek

How to Increase Blog Traffic - Day #1


It's easy to build a blog, but hard to build a successful blog with significant traffic.

I launched this bIog about three months ago and was amazed to see how quickly, with a bit of planning, it gained thousands of visits to each post.

Here's my personal take on how to improve traffic. I'm be sharing a new option/tip/bit of advice/whatever each day. 

#1 - Target Your Content to an Audience Likely to Share

When thinking about who you're writing for, consider that audience's ability to help spread the word. 

Some readers will naturally be more or less active in evangelizing the work you do, but particular communities, topics, writing styles and content types regularly play better than others on the web. 

For example, great infographics that strike a chord (like this one), beautiful videos that tell a story (like this one) and remarkable collections of facts that challenge common assumptions (like this one) are all targeted at audiences likely to share (geeks with facial hair, those interested in weight loss and those with political thoughts about macroeconomics respectively).
A Blog's Target Audience



























If you can identify groups that have high concentrations of the blue and orange circles in the diagram above, you dramatically improve the chances of reaching larger audiences and growing your traffic numbers. 

Targeting blog content at less-share-likely groups may not be a terrible decision (particularly if that's where you passion or your target audience lies), but it will decrease the propensity for your blog's work to spread like wildfire across the web.

What to Watch on Amazon Prime

So you've just signed up to Amazon Prime and you don't know where to begin...

Well here are my recommendations.

THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE (S1)

What if the Allies had lost the Second World War, and America was currently ruled by Germany in its eastern half and Japan in its western half? Well, you can find out in this big budget Amazon Prime original series, a thriller which zips around a 1960s North America that’s more “Ja wohl!” than “Aw shucks!”.

Dealing with underground resistance groups, various plots and an alternative Cold War (waged between Imperial Japan and the German Reich, now the world’s only superpowers), it’s the kid of series that’ll appeal to history buffs, sci-fi fans and anyone who’s into high concept, high budget television.

Watch The Man in the High Castle on Amazon Prime Instant Video

 

THE WALKING DEAD (S1-4)

The zombie apocalypse scenario has now been covered so many times that when the dead 
The zombie apocalypse scenario has now been covered so many times that when the dead do eventually start clawing their way out of the ground in a shambling tide of brain-hungry violence, it’ll hardly be worth mentioning. That’s not to say that it doesn’t make cracking TV, though, and if you’re one of the few people who hasn’t yet seen The Walking Dead, you owe it to yourself to do so now.
Watch The Walking Dead on Amazon Prime Instant Video

 

THE FALL (S1)

If you missed this Belfast-set drama when it was originally broadcast by the BBC, Amazon is here to help you rectify your mistake. A tense show centring on two compelling characters – Gillian Anderson’s icy, complex detective and Jamie Dornan’s obsessive serial killer – The Fall is equal parts police procedural and psychological thriller.

We all already knew that Anderson was a fantastic actor, but ex-model Dornan is perfectly cast and surprisingly affecting as an apparently normal, caring family man with a deep-seated sickness lying just beneath the surface.

At the time of writing, only the first series is available to watch on Amazon Prime Instant. The second is available via pay-per-view – and after watching the first round of episodes you may well find yourself reaching for your credit card to find out what happens next.

YouTube - How to get the transcript of a video

Here's how to get the transcript of a YouTube video (when available):


Go to YouTube and open the video of your choice.
Click on the More actions button (3 horizontal dots) located next to the Share button.

1) Click on Transcript.







2) Here you are

How much does YouTube pay partners for their content?

On average, you can earn $.80 per 1,000 views monetized by banner ads, or, $5-$8 per 1,000 views on a video monetized by rollout ads (the commercials before the video). So, on a video with 1,000,000 views monetized by rollout ads, you could earn $5,000-$8,000.

Youtube/Google shares ~45% of their ad revenue from the content with the content creator. The ad revenue is collected when a viewer clicks on an ad. This is known as Cost Per Click. Now, CPC can vary based on the ad.

You can expect an accounting firm to pay a higher CPC than a toothbrush company because their Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is higher. Youtube/Google is going to choose the ads they place based on the highest likelihood of a click. Factors that come in to play include the individual viewer and the data Google has on them, and the subject of the video.

Now, in my opinion, these earnings are all too low. I would not use this as my primary monetization strategy. Getting a lot of views is hard work. And if I want viewers to be loyal to my content, annoying commercials might not be ideal. Instead, I'll take my $.80 per 1,000 views and be happy.

Here's why:
Take a topic you know and love. Something you would enjoy building content on, and for which you have a unique expertise, a unique perspective, or a great personality for. In this case, let's say your content will be about sports. Build a channel focused on a sports niche and over time, gain a loyal following (subscribers on Youtube as well as a blog you link in every description).
There are much more profitable ways to monetize a Youtube video than on views alone. It is really easy to source products and services directly to an audience nowadays, through the two models I have written about already (drop-shipping and affiliate marketing). And because you are building a very targeted audience, you will be able to connect your viewers with products and services that will enrich their lives (and make you a profit).
How is your sports content going to lead to revenues on products and services for you personally? Two ways.
1) People put a lot of trust into Amazon reviews, no? But they also LOVE and trust video reviews. Youtube is something like the 2nd most used search engine on the planet (and less competitive than Google). If you optimize your Youtube titles and descriptions for the right keywords, you can drive a lot of natural traffic to your videos on YouTube. Traffic that is looking for or is interested in sports related products and services.
Create awesome, helpful reviews on these sports products and services and you can conveniently link them to a) Your site where you sell the product/service personally (See first linked answer above), or b) an affiliated product or service (for which you make a significant commission on the sale).
2) Create content that has educational or entertainment value for your sports-loving viewers. Again, you can conveniently link them to a) Your site where you sell the product/service personally (See first linked answer above), or b) an affiliated product or service (for which you make a significant commission on the sale).
To learn how to promote affiliate products with large commissions, check outAffilorama. For selling your own product, start buy sourcing from a drop-ship directory like SaleHoo. They have relationships with over 8,000 suppliers who will ship directly to your customers when you make a sale. For your online store, you'll want to use Shopify. Drag-and-drop design (looks great), no code necessary. They will process your payments and everything. Just send invoices to your Salehoo supplier when a customer makes an order; they will ship the product right to them.
Read more about those models here:
Zach Pinnell's answer to What is the fastest way to make a million dollars?
Zach Pinnell's answer to What are some good ways to make more money on top of your annual income?
You can mix 1 and 2. Doing #1 well will likely lead to less views but higher conversion rates (higher percentage of people buy). #2 will be more viral, leading to more views, but it isn't catered directly at an audience looking to buy now (lower conversion rates).
In addition to encouraging viewers to subscribe to the channel, you should also send them to your own site for exclusive content. The blog (and a newsletter) and your Youtube following is where you will build your "tribe" so to speak. People you can continuously promote to within the valuable content she provides to them.
This is certainly not a strategy for overnight success, but it is a great way to build a consistent income stream. They say 6 to 12 months in you will see substantial money rolling in. You need time to build subscriber base. Pick the right topic and there will be better reasons to make content than for money.
There's a lot more where this came from! Look out for 5 more of my favorite business models by subscribing to my blog (pre-launch) at http://www.eduhustle.com/. I'll send them your way shortly after your sign-up, and let you know when the site launches.

How Make Money from Google AdSense


How To Earn £60 Per Day With Google AdSense, And How Much Traffic You Need?

Earning £100, £200 or even £300 per day with Google AdSense is not an impossible job.

Many bloggers and website owners are doing it, and you are not an exception. The only thing you need is better planning and execution, hard work, determination and passion for blogging about your topic or niche.

Before diving into the exact process, let’s know some terminology for better understanding of Google AdSense and how you can generate more revenue by selling your ad inventories on your blog.

What Is AdSense: It’s a monetization program by Google for online content from websites, mobile sites, and site search results with relevant and engaging ads.

CTR : Your ad Click-through Rate is the number of ad clicks divided by the number of individual ad impressions. Suppose you are showing 3 AdSense ads on every page, your 1 page view is equal to 3 ad impressions.

CTR = Clicks / Ad Impressions X 100

Suppose, you get 5 clicks out of 500 ad impressions, your CTR would be 1% (5/500X100).

CPC : Cost-Per-Click is the revenue you earn each time a visitor clicks on your ad. CPC is usually determined by the advertisers. In some competitive niches like finance, marketing, online products etc. advertisers may be willing to pay more per click than others.

CPM: CPM means “Cost Per 1000 Impressions.”

Sometimes advertisers opt for CPM ads instead of CPC and set their price for 1000 ad impressions. And they pay each time their ads appear on any website.
Let’s Make £100 Everyday With Google AdSense, Right?

For the convenience of calculation we assume that – You serve your AdSense ads on your blog or website, irrespective of showing your ads on your mobile site and added the site search results with AdSense.

Your CTR is 1% and your average CPC is $0.25. It’s quite achievable and lots of bloggers usually get it. We also assume that Page View = Ad Impression for easy calculation. You can manipulate the parameters on your own for desired results.
To make $100 everyday you need 40,000 Page Views/day Or, 400 Clicks a day @ 1% CTR and $0.25 CPC. For 40,000 Page Views you have to produce 500 awesome articles or blog posts which attract at least 80 or more page views/article everyday.
Apart from CPC, you will also earn from your CPM ad impressions. Irrespective of any niche, the average CPM earning is $1 to $1.5 per 1,000 impressions. You can make $40 to $60 per day easily from 40,000 page views.
You can also sell your Ad space directly or via BuySellAds.com and generate £6,000 Per Month on an average from 40,000 page views. Check out how webmasters and bloggers are making £6,000 to £8,000 Per Month from BuySellAds with forty thousand page views per day. So your daily earning will be £200 (6000/30=200).
A niche blog with high quality articles converts very well with affiliate marketing. You can easily earn £40 to £80/day from affiliate selling with correct implementation and execution.

Now your total earning per day is £100 + £40 + £200 +£40 = £380 from CPC, CPM, Direct Ad Sell, Affiliate Marketing for 40,000 page views per day. I’ve taken the lowest possible earnings from all the 4 sources.

£380 per day means £11,400 per month (380X30= 11,400) Or, £136,800 per year(11,400X12=136,800). Isn’t it a whooping amount to lead a lavish life?

Which is well above your desired earning of £100 per day from Google AdSense, right? 1000s of people are making money by writing articles, and you can also do it. The only thing I want to say is “Be Focused!”

P.S. The above results can be possible if you produce at least 200 to 250 great articles or blog posts per year for 2 years. So how much traffic you actually need to make £100 per day from Google AdSense – It’s way less than 40,000 Page Views Per Day!

Credit: http://seohour.com/blogging/how-to-earn-100-per-day-with-google-adsense-and-how-much-traffic-you-need-12153/

What to Watch on Netflix - Louis Theroux's Wierd Weekends

Before he met the likes of Jimmy Saville, Paul Daniels and Max Clifford, Louis Theroux specialised in meeting, interviewing and often living with what you could politely call "controversial" groups. Over the course of three BBC series he hangs out with porn stars, wrestlers, hardline Christians, UFO watchers and more, somehow gaining the sort of access and revelations that a more 'serious' journalist couldn't (or perhaps wouldn't) get.



This is brilliant stuff: funny, troubling and regularly moving, and a good primer for Theroux's upcoming documentary film, My Scientology Movie.

What to Watch on Netflix - The Thick Of It

You know how The Day Today made it impossible to watch the news without thinking it was a spoof (“Portillo’s teeth removed to boost pound”) and Brass Eye did the same with current affairs (“People say that alcohol’s a drug. It’s not – it’s a drink”)? Well, after watching The Thick Of It you’ll never again take anything a politician says seriously.



The unifying factor in those three shows is of course the supremely talented Mr Armando Iannucci, creator of TTOI and The Day Today and, given that he also worked on the various Alan Partridge shows, a man surely deserving of the title Greatest Living Briton.

But we digress. The Thick Of It could be described as a satire were it not so accurate in its depictions of jobsworth civil servants, careerist politicians and their clueless advisors. A must-watch for many, many reasons not least the virtuoso swearing abilities of Malcolm Tucker.