You Are Surrounded by Blogging Ideas

And you didn’t even know it

Sometimes when you’re looking for ideas to blog about you can search and search and seemingly nothing with come to you.

If you’re a business owner you may get the feeling that you’re hitting on the same topics over and over again. It’s possible that your readers are looking for a different perspective to change things up on the themes you cover with your blog.

There is good news for you, blog writer!

You have a wealth of insight and knowledge available at your fingertips. And the best part is that these resources are likely to be anxious to contribute and help.

You just have to ask…

Employees and Co-workers

When it comes to writing blog content that your audience finds engaging, you likely have some great resources in the employees and co-workers working right beside you in your office.

Stop by the office of your merchandiser and ask them about upcoming trends this season. Ask them for their thoughts and insight into what is happening in the industry.

Use their information in your posts and give them full credit.

Offer to write the content for them so they don’t have to feel obligated to sit down and feel pressured to churn out great content. Ask them for their thoughts on various topics you think your audience will find interesting and take notes. Then gather the best thoughts and put them in a blog post.

If you have other guides and hunters on your staff then ask them about their top five tips for the upcoming season. Ask them if they are going to try any new techniques this season.

Find the interesting things that you and your readers are curious about.

Ask your secretary for advice on topics. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions. People will often surprise you with their unique perspective on life. You’ll probably learn something and that extra knowledge will translate into some killer blog content.

Ask your employees and co-workers for their insight. You’ll gain killer blog content and probably learn and grow closer to those you work with daily.

Family

Most people go to their family for advice on happenings in life.

If we’re looking for advice on love, loved lost, how to shoot a free throw, how to purchase a house, or what to do when the baby starts crying, parents are likely the first place most go to find answers.

It’s no different when it comes to blogging.

Your parents can offer sound insight into the questions you have about certain topics you blog about. Perhaps you need a different perspective on what’s happening with the Department of Natural Resources – your mom or dad may have the perspective that can connect with another part of your audience – one that you can’t reach simply because of your unique outlook on life.

Also look to your siblings and kids for insight. Every one of us grows up in different worlds and each of us has a different perspective on reality. The more you can use several perspectives to form a consistent stream of communication the better you’ll be able to bring in lots of people to see things as you see them.

And don’t forget about significant others.

They usually (99.9% of the time) have the correct perspective and will often knock some sense into your argument.

Friends

When I need an honest perspective on something I’m having trouble writing about I’ll often ask one of my close friends.

I have a small group of friends that I trust to give me honest feedback no matter what the subject. I don’t have to worry about either of us getting angry for a response because it’s expected that we’re all adults and can take any criticism or feedback that comes.

Sometimes it’s good to be told that you’re an idiot.

And on a good side of friendship, you can ask your friends for their insight into topics you’re writing about. Find friends that have careers in different or similar fields and ask for their take on the topic. You will probably find some interesting perspective you can use in your next post. And some of your readers will probably relate to what your friends are discussing.

Clients and Business Partners

Clients are often a great perspective for blogs.

It’s very beneficial to write about the relationships you have with your clients – good and bad. You can have your clients write their own posts, you can write case studies revolving around your clients and you can ask clients for their perspectives on certain industries.

If you have a client that specializes in a certain area of hunting, ask them for their insight on certain topics as it pertains to topics you’re interested in writing about for your site.

The more you can engage your existing clients, the more your future clients will want to do business with you.

People want engagement. Give it to them.

Summary

Do a little searching around your world and you’d be surprised at the knowledge you’ll find right in front of you.

The people you see and interact with every day are full of great ideas and insight. Give them a chance to share it with you by asking for their opinions on topics. It’ll make for great blogging content and you’ll probably form some great and more meaningful relationships as a result.

Have you ever sought out insight for the topics you blog about with your co-workers, family or from others in your life?

Please share in the comments.

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Rank in the Top Ten for Your Niche Industry

People love content with intriguing numbers

I’m not sure what exactly it is about statistics, but for some reason stats have a way of capturing the attention of people.

There are over 500 million results for statistics on Google.

Digg has thousands of posts about stats submitted to its pages as Web users find enough value in blog posts about stats to share them with others in the network.

Stats seem to strike a chord with Web users and as a result, blog posts about stats have a high tendency to rank well in search engines keyword phrases related to the topic of the posts.

For example, the keyword phrase Twitter Stats brings up a few blog posts in the top ten that cover the latest stats concerning everybody’s favorite mass communication tool.

So What Does This Mean For You?

If you have a blog or Website and you’re trying to attract traffic then it’s entirely possible for you to write content for a Web page or a for a blog post that collects statistics from around the Web that highlight interesting data concerning your niche industry and rank in the top ten for terms related to “your niche industry” and “your niche industry stats”.

It takes some digging around on the Web to find relevant stats that your audience will find interesting, but once you bring together valuable statistics in one place you’ll be providing value that people will appreciate and share with their networks.

For example, I wrote a post Essential Hunting Industry Stats and that post received some great comments from readers. This post did very well for me as it ranked well for the term Hunting Industry (until I changed the domain of my blog), but more than ranking well the post also connected me with good-to-know folks in the hunting industry.

Chris Burget, of Bulls and Beavers and also the top hunter on Twitter (@bullsandbeavers), first found my blog via this post about stats and now we’ve had great discussions on and offline about business and the Web as a result of our connection. I’ve since written about with What Do Chris Burget and Garth Brooks Have in Common?

It’s also great to receive comments like the one from Kendall of Camofire:

Great list of info that was useful for a presentation I did yesterday. I appreciate your blog and the insights you are providing.

While it took some work to gather the information, it did all exist on the Web, free of charge; all it took was to find the stats and gather them in one location for the convenience of those looking for interesting and useful statistics about the hunting industry.

More Benefits of Writing Stats Posts

Beyond the benefits of traffic that comes from ranking well for your niche industry related terms and all of the sites and blogs that link to your post on stats there are additional benefits to writing content about the statistics your readers are interested in.

By gathering the information needed to put together a valuable stats post you’ll be showing potential employers, customers, and clients that you’re capable of doing the research necessary to justify business decisions.

Businesses and people often look to statistics for justification of the decisions they make. And when you prove that you can gather the justifying stats you are showing the people you’re working with that you respect their desire for more than your word to justify the recommendations you make.

To take this a step further you could begin conducting the statistics gathering yourself through surveys, polls, and other methods that put together stats in ways that make sense to your audience and customers.

Ranking for Stats Posts and Pages

Ranking well for a specific search term means that people and the search engine robots need to determine that your content is the most relevant source of information for the search query of your target audience.

In order for that to happen search engines want proof that you are trustworthy and popular in the eyes of others in your niche. To gain this trust from others in your niche you’re going to have to publish content so remarkable and valuable that others (including influencers) in your niche will share it with their networks by tweeting it, digging it, emailing it, and linking to it on their blogs.

A great way to capture the attention of others in your niche and get them excited about one of your posts is to gather relevant statistics about your niche.

Take for example, Adam Singer of The Future Buzz wrote a post that used captured the curiosity of the marketing and online world.

The post, Social Media, Web 2.0 And Internet Stats, likely took a lot of time to put together, but the post ranks well for a moderately searched term and was shared numerous times over the Web – retweeted, shared on Facebook, Stumbled, Dugg, etc.

The post now ranks in the top 3 for the term Social Media Stats. While this keyword phrase does not get a ton of traffic each month, it does bring in some traffic from search engines and likely brings in tons of traffic from the sites that link to the post on The Future Buzz.

One term that would be interesting to test this technique for would be Media Industry.

This keyword phrase has much more traffic and it’d be interesting to see if a well-shared and well linked-to post covering media industry stats would rank well.

Summary

If you want to rank in the top ten for a keyword phrase similar to “your niche industry stats” or “your niche industry” you can gather together stats that are available on the Web already and bring them together one place (and don’t forget to cite your sources).

It takes some time to gather the information together, but once the content in place it’s a valuable resource for others in your industry and it serves are a way for your customers to justify spending money.

What are your thoughts?

Have you used interesting stats in your blog posts – possibly as a lede to start your posts?

Have you done an entire post that includes statistics related to your niche industry?

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How Will Your Customers Discover You?

The underserved rarely speak up – they usually just leave

Guitar

Today I was driving in my pickup when a Taylor Swift song came on. I hit my preset button to change to another local country station and another Taylor Swift song came on. I hit one more preset, this time for local pop station, and yet another Taylor Swift song came on. I finally had to turn on the CD I had in the player (Diamond Rio – 16 Biggest Hits).

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

Now, I happen to respect Taylor Swift as a singer and songwriter. As a marketer, I can appreciate the work she puts into not only creating songs that her audience loves, but also the work she puts into marketing her brand so that she can grow a large audience.

However, as a young male, I can’t particularly relate to the topics Taylor Swift sings about. Nor do I relate to the melodies she writes.

Who is serving me today in country music?

Uninterested Customers Change the Channel

Your customers are out in the world right now not even realizing that you exist.

When people are listening to the radio and they consistently hear music they simply don’t like they will just change the channel.  People won’t complain or make a fuss. They simply change the channel in an effort to find something that satisfies their desires to feel emotions – to connect with singers, lyrics, and melodies.

Just as people change the channel on the radio, your potential customers are searching for the right way to connect with a business such as yours so they can answer their questions and have their problems solved. They may not even know that they’re looking. We don’t give much thought to what we’re doing when we change the channel. Often we look for certain stations that have played some quality music in the past, but we rely on the disc jockeys to bring us new music that will satisfy us.

Who are the disc jockeys that can take your story to your customers?

Marketing is the art of connecting your business with the customers who don’t even realize that you exist. All great markets have a knack for finding target customers, but there is also an area of marketing that requires the art of discovery.

Discovery

Some of the biggest jockeys in charge of spreading the word about quality businesses on the Web are bloggers.

Bloggers are a business’s most valuable resource for spreading the word on the Web. Bloggers have audiences that rely on them to bring quality information and perspective consistently. Over time, bloggers build their loyal audience and look for sources of consistent information and content to provide that audience.

Businesses that come forward with fresh perspective that adds value to a blogger’s audience is an extremely valuable resource.

It’s important for businesses to seek out the influential bloggers in their niches as well as in niches where they may not expect to find their target customer.

Many businesses today are discovered in blog posts as bloggers review products and services and give trusted information to their audiences. People read blogs to learn and to be entertained, but most importantly, people read blogs as a way to discover something that satisfies their needs – needs they may have not even known they needed satisfied.

Bloggers are like disc jockeys in a way because they are trusted by their audience to bring new and exciting content that satisfies needs. Bloggers are important for businesses and customers alike.

Find the bloggers that are influential both in your niche and in related niches and allow them to tell your story. Give them all the resources they need to effectively allow their audience to discover and connect with your business.

Summary

The other day I heard a song on the radio that caught my ear.

I was on my way to work, riding in my pickup when a smooth country song with a sweet, rolling melody came across the radio waves. I’m a Little More Country Than That was the name of the song and it instantly made me wonder who the singer was.

I found out that the song was by Easton Corbin. He’s a newcomer in the country music world. He has smoothness in his delivery that I haven’t heard since George Strait (one of my all time favorite singers).

Without the discovery nature of radio today I may have never heard I’m a Little More Country Than That.

Easton Corbin
Easton Corbin

Marketing is about making connections with others in the world. The goal of any business is to take its products and services to those who need or want them. It can be difficult to find your customers and while targeting continues to improve, discovery will always play a huge role in the nature of connecting business with customer.

I don’t fit Taylor Swift’s target audience, but because the radio station played a variety of good country music along with hers I was able to discover Easton Corbin.

It can be difficult to find people that want and need your products and services. Take your story to the voices in the industry and allow them to take your story to those who can discover you and become your customers.

Easton Corbin – I’m a Little More Country Than That


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The Top Marketing Posts of 2009

Some of the best marketers in the world wrote valuable content in 2009

Cougar

You may have noticed that in each post on HBM I link to a few posts from around the Web that I find relevant and (hopefully) interesting. It’s my little effort to share some quality content from around the Web. All of the articles are worthwhile and while your time is limited, it’s definitely worth it to read some of the most compelling articles as they relate to your business.

With the end of 2009 here, I thought I’d go through the HBM Archives and complete the top 50 marketing posts.

Enjoy.

1| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Be a Disrupter

Appeared with HBM Post: Disrupt the Hunting Industry

2| SEOmoz

Website: SEOmoz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 10 Tips for When Startup Life Gives You Lemons…

Appeared with HBM Post: If You Want to Be Creative, Why Do You Structure Your Life?

3| Copyblogger

Website: Copyblogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 5 Steps to Going Viral on Twitter

Appeared with HBM Post: The First 4 Days of Your New Hunting Blog

4| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Social Media, Web 2.0 And Internet Stats

Appeared with HBM Post: 4 Lessons Learned from the Movie Catch Me If You Can

5| Dosh Dosh

Website: Dosh Dosh

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Everyone Uses the Internet for a Reason

Appeared with HBM Post: Why Hunters Use the Web

6| Seth Godin’s Blog

Website: Seth Godin’s Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: How to Send a Personal Email

Appeared with HBM Post: Give Away Your Hunting Knowledge for Free

7| Problogger

Website: Problogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 5 Ways Blogging Can Make a Difference for You in This Economy

Appeared with HBM Post: Give Away Your Hunting Knowledge for Free

8| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: A Creative Commons License Is The Ultimate Music Promotion Tool

Appeared with HBM Post: Give Away Your Hunting Knowledge for Free

9| Twitip

Website: Twitip

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Think Like a Toddler to Find Your Voice on Twitter

Appeared with HBM Post: Think like a Buck in Rut and Find your Blogging Voice

10| Problogger

Website: Problogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: The Essential Guide to Growing Your Blog on Minimal Time

Appeared with HBM Post: 3 Viral Video Ideas

11| SAMBA

Website: SAMBA

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Hamster Burial Kits & 998 Other Business Ideas

Appeared with HBM Post: 40 Quick Tips and Ideas for Growing Your Hunting Business

12| Chris Brogan

Website: Chris Brogan

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Cafe Shaped Business – The Roger Smith Hotel

Appeared with HBM Post: 10 Things Every Hunting Website Needs (Plus a Few Extra Ideas)

13| Damn! I Wish I’d Thought of That!

Website: Damn! I Wish I’d Thought of That!

Top 2009 Marketing Post: You already have a word of mouth topic

Appeared with HBM Post: 10 Things Every Hunting Website Needs (Plus a Few Extra Ideas)

14| Zen Habits

Website: Zen Habits

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Bad Habits Slap Us Down, but a Theme Encourages

Appeared with HBM Post:

15| Manage Your Life

Website: Manage Your Life

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 9 quick ways on how to manage work stress

Appeared with HBM Post: Staying Power – Why Some Businesses Have It and Some Don’t

16| SEO Book

Website: SEO Book

Top 2009 Marketing Post: True Internet Marketing Icons / How Online Marketing Works

Appeared with HBM Post: Take Note of What Every other Hunting Business is Doing – Then Do the Opposite

17| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 77 Insights From More Than A Decade On The Web, Daily

Appeared with HBM Post: Web Users Take the Path of Least Resistance – Just like Deer

18| Seth Godin’s Blog

Website: Seth Godin’s Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Solving a Different Problem

Appeared with HBM Post: Web Users Take the Path of Least Resistance – Just like Deer

19| The Way We Watch

Website: The Way We Watch

Top 2009 Marketing Post: What Do People Remember After the Video Ends?

Appeared with HBM Post: 50 Viral Videos (and how they spread)

20| The Business of Blogging and New Media

Website: The Business of Blogging and New Media

Top 2009 Marketing Post: How to Release Your Web Marketing Potential

Appeared with HBM Post: The Impact of Online Video in the Hunting World

21| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 10 Secrets for Creating Viral Content

Appeared with HBM Post: The Impact of Online Video in the Hunting World

22| Copyblogger

Website: Copyblogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Persuasive Online Video Strategies That Prompt Action

Appeared with HBM Post: The Impact of Online Video in the Hunting World

23| Chris Brogan

Website: Chris Brogan

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Social Media Needs to Become a Team Sport

Appeared with HBM Post: The Sports Agent Guide to Marketing

24| Specky Boy

Website: Specky Boy

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 50 Impressive Magazine and Newspaper Styled Web Designs

Appeared with HBM Post: 50 Best Hunting Website Designs

25| Noupe

Website: Noupe

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Web Design Trends: Testimonials Design

Appeared with HBM Post: 50 Best Hunting Website Designs

26| Six Revisions

Website: Six Revisions

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 16 WordPress Sites to Help You Build a Better Blog

Appeared with HBM Post: 50 Best Hunting Website Designs

27| Murray Newlands

Website: Murray Newlands

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 10 Elements of a Successful Twitter Landing Page

Appeared with HBM Post: The Top 10 Twitter Landing Pages

28| Problogger

Website: Problogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Getting Over the Blogger’s 6 Month Itch

Appeared with HBM Post: What Daylong Deer Hunting Taught Me About Blogging

29| The Way We Watch

Website: The Way We Watch

Top 2009 Marketing Post: What Do Chris Brogan and Michael Caine Have in Common?

Appeared with HBM Post: What do Chris Burget and Garth Brooks Have in Common?

30| Fathom SEO

Website: Fathom SEO

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Google Analytics Benchmarking: Turn it on!

Appeared with HBM Post: Use Bounce Back Offers to Get New and Old Business

31| Online Marketing Blog

Website: Online Marketing Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 7 Considerations for Tracking Social Media Success

Appeared with HBM Post: 10 Remarkable Hunting Business Blogs

32| Outdoor Media Resources

Website: Outdoor Media Resources

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Appeared with HBM Post: 10 Remarkable Hunting Business Blogs

33| Conversion Rate Experts

Website: Conversion Rate Experts

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Conversion Killers – Does Your Site Contain Any “Nuke Buttons”?

Appeared with HBM Post: 25 Tips for Web Conversion

34| Chris Brogan

Website: Chris Brogan

Top 2009 Marketing Post: How Does This Share

Appeared with HBM Post: 25 Tips for Web Conversion

35| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 19 Reasons You Should Blog and Not Just Tweet

Appeared with HBM Post: 25 Tips for Web Conversion

36| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Shutterstock Gets Social – Digital PR Case Study

Appeared with HBM Post: Sponsorship Case Study – Team Huntress

37| Copyblogger

Website: Copyblogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Beyond Headlines: How to Get Your Audience to Read Every Word

Appeared with HBM Post: Sponsorship Case Study – Team Huntress

38| Chris Brogan

Website: Chris Brogan

Top 2009 Marketing Post: The Beauty of Collaboration

Appeared with HBM Post: How to Choose a Hunting Business Directory

39| Daily Blogs Tips

Website: Daily Blog Tips

Top 2009 Marketing Post: How to Optimize Your Site for Local Search

Appeared with HBM Post: How to Choose a Hunting Business Directory

40| Online Marketing Blog

Website: Online Marketing Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Influencing the Social Web: Agility is a Factor

Appeared with HBM Post: How Small Businesses Can Beat the Big Competition

41| Lateral Action

Website: Lateral Action

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 9 Ways People Respond To Your Content Online

Appeared with HBM Post: How Small Businesses Can Beat the Big Competition

42| Online Marketing Blog

Website: Online Marketing Blog

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Strategic Link Building for SEO

Appeared with HBM Post: How Small Businesses Can Beat the Big Competition

43| Copyblogger

Website: Copyblogger

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 5 Things Sesame Street Can Teach You About Breakthrough Blogging

Appeared with HBM Post: How to Find Your Lucky Break

44| SEO Book

Website: SEO Book

Top 2009 Marketing Post: The Search Taxonomy: Getting Inside the Mind of the Searcher

Appeared with HBM Post: 8 Little Details That Make Big Differences on Hunting Websites

45| Zen Habits

Website: Zen Habits

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Feng Shui On Steroids: Design Your Space to Achieve Your Goals

Appeared with HBM Post: 8 Little Details That Make Big Differences on Hunting Websites

46| The Fugure Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: No Niche is Ever Too Crowded for Fresh Thinking

Appeared with HBM Post: Befriend the Best Hunters and Businesspeople on the Web

47| Daily Blog Tips

Website: Daily Blog Tips

Top 2009 Marketing Post: 8 Tips for Aspiring entrepreneurs

Appeared with HBM Post: The John Mellencamp Guide to Success in the Hunting Industry

48| SEOmoz

Website: SEOmoz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: The Real Power of Twitter

Appeared with HBM Post: What is the Point of Twitter

49| The Future Buzz

Website: The Future Buzz

Top 2009 Marketing Post: Clinging to the Past is Not a Strategy

Appeared with HBM Post: What is the Point of Twitter

50| Louis Gray

Website: Louis Gray

Top 2009 Marketing Post: It’s Not Too Late to Spring Into Reading 5 New Blogs

Appeared with HBM Post: Write Better Blog Headlines: Tonight at 6

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The Top 50 Hunting Blog Posts of 2009

Did you read these posts in 2009?

Happy Puppy

In the spirit of giving this Christmas season, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you some links to hunting blog posts…

As 2009 ends, I thought I’d list the Top 50 Hunting Blog Posts from the past year. These posts were all successful in attracting readers and comments while adding value to the online hunting world.

Enjoy.

These are in no particular order

1| Bowhunting.com

Website: Bowhunting.com

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Huge Monster 192”: A Two Year Adventure

2| Bowhunting.com

Website: Bowhunting.com

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Fixed Blade vs. Mechanical Broadheads – The Great Debate

3| Bowhunting.com

Website: Bowhunting.com

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Bowhunting Success in Illinois – The Creek Buck

4| Whitetail 365

Website: Whitetail 365

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Whitetail Are Tougher Than You Think

5| Whitetail 365

Website: Whitetail 365

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Portable No-Trespassing Signs?

6| FS Huntress

Website: Field Notes

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Hunters Who Happen to Be Women

7| FS Huntress

Website: FS Huntress

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Q&A, Angela Wilson, Taxidermist

8| Field Notes

Website: Field Notes

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Environmentalists on Hunters

9| Outdoors International

Website: Outdoors International

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Building Trail, Fishing & Wolves

10| Base Camp Legends

Website: Base Camp Legends

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Idaho Archery Bull

11| Cabela’s – Outdoor Info

Website: Cabelas – Outdoor Info

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Hunting Techniques – Stand Hunting

12| Team Huntress

Website: Team Huntress

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Stick to Your Guns

13| A Blessed Crazy Life

Website: A Blessed Crazy Life

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: A Boy’s First Deer

14| Ben G. Outdoors

Website: Ben G. Outdoors

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Trout Fishing Part 5 (Final)

15| Desert Rat

Website: Desert Rat

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Desert Rat Talks With Laura Francese

16| Doubletough Outdoors

Website: Doubletough Outdoors

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Got Hunts? Bet Your Boar He Does

17| Grow the Hunt

Website: Grow the Hunt

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Making Summer Successful

18| Muskoka Outdoors

Website: Muskoka Outdoors

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Coyote Closely

19| NorCal Cazadora

Website: NorCal Cazadora

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Woot! I got my first woodie today!

20| Native Hunt Blog

Website: Native Hunt Blog

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: The Trophy at the Table – More Than a Mount

21| The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Website: The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Instincts and Hunting

22| Outdoors With Othmar Vohringer

Website: Outdoors With Othmar Vohringer

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: The Pink Wave

23| Outdoor Freaks

Website: Outdoor Freaks

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: A Summer on the Porch

24| Wild Ed’s Texas Outdoors

Website: Wild Ed’s Texas Outdoors

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: European Skull Mounts the Texas Way

25| Wildlife Callers

Website: Wildlife Callers

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Scouting + Calling = Wildlife Photography Results

26| Michael Waddell

Website: Michael Waddell

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Sounds, Smells, and Feelings That Make Me Feel Great

27| David Blanton

Website: David Blanton

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: A Crazy Turkey Hunt

28| High Country Archer

Website: High Country Archer

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Stacey Scores

29| The Hunter’s Wife

Website: The Hunter’s Wife

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Chris Brogan’s Failed Attempt at Bowhunting

30| The Hunter’s Wife

Website: The Hunter’s Wife

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: My 6 Point Whitetail Deer

31| Whitetail Woods

Website: Whitetail Woods

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: A Muzzleloading hunt to Remember

32| Hunting Life

Website: Hunting Life

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Is High Fence Hunting Offensive?

33| Hunting Life

Website: Hunting Life

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Another Tactic for the Rut, Hunt the Does

34| Wired to Hunt

Website: Wired to Hunt

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: How to Become a Hunting Guide

35| Wired to Hunt

Website: Wired to Hunt

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Jumping the String

36| Deer Hunting Big Bucks

Website: Deer Hunting Big Bucks

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Scent Control, Wind Direction, and Better Deer Hunting

37| Deer Hunting Big Bucks

Website: Deer Hunting Big Bucks

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Deer Hunting With Dogs

38| Winded Bowhunter

Website: Winded Bowhunter

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Turkey Rappers

39| Live Hunt

Website: Live Hunt

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Bull Down!

40| Jake’s Outdoors

Website: Jake’s Outdoors

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Starting Them Young…

41| Hunting With Mike

Website: Hunting With Mike

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Nature and Little Girls

42| Moose Droppings

Website: Moose Droppings

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Tundra Swan Hunt in Washington County

43| My Hunting Buddies

Website: My Hunting Buddies

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: HEVI*SHOT® Product Review

44| Deer Passion

Website: Deer Passion

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: What Do You Dislike About the Outdoors

45| Long Ridge Deer Camp

Website: Long Ridge Deer Camp

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Almost Muzzle Loading Season, and How NOT to Book an Out of State Hunt…

46| Simply Outdoors

Website: Simply Outdoors

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Hunting Can Be a Cure

47| The Maine Outdoorsman

Website: The Maine Outdoorsman Blog

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Mr. President’s NEW Waders

48| The Deer Tree

Website: The Deer Tree

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: My 2009 Gear Wish List

49| LowCountry Hunting

Website: LowCountry Hunting

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: Lowcountry Rut Cranks Up

50| Rob’s Hunting Journal

Website: Rob’s Hunting Journal

Top 2009 Hunting Blog Post: First Day of Fall Pheasant Wreath

Please feel free to share your top posts in the comments.

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

Hunting Blog Post Title Ideas Part 1

Reviews of Remarkable Hunting Blog Posts

The Top Hunting Blogs Part 2

What to read next on the Web

The Top 50 SEO Posts of the Year – 2009 Edition

10 Reasons Your Small Business Should Have a Blog

45 Blog Post Ideas That Always Generate Buzz

Image courtesy of Emery_Way

The Impact of Online Video in the Hunting World

Online video is an opportunity for individuals in the hunting world…

Video Camcorder

Hunting business owners often ask me what I think about the future of online hunting video and the role it plays for business owners.

Video, as it’s always been, will play a major role in the connection between business and customer.

The role of online video continues to increase:

  • 76.8 percent of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The average online video viewer watched 356 minutes of video (approximately 6 hours), up 15 percent versus December.
  • 100.9 million viewers watched 6.3 billion videos on YouTube.com (62.6 videos per viewer).
  • 54.1 million viewers watched 473 million videos on MySpace.com (8.7 videos per viewer).
  • The duration of the average online video was 3.5 minutes, up from 3.2 minutes per video in December.
  • The duration of the average online video viewed at Megavideo was 24.9 minutes, higher than any other video property in the top ten.

Statistics courtesy of YouTube Surpasses 100 Million U.S. Viewers for the First Time – comScore, Inc.

Marketing strategy should involve all communication mediums that improve the quality of the connection you share with your customers. The ultimate goal of the Web and the available communication mediums (blog, image sharing, and video sharing) is to connect with customers on as much of an individual level as possible so as to foster a trusting relationship that provides the customer with valuable products and services and the business with profit.

As online video continues to grow, it’ll be important for proactive businesses to figure out how to connect with their target customer via online video. The challenging part will be to analyze the target customer and focus on creating video content that is relevant to both the customer and the business and is sharable.

Let’s look at a few potential ways you can use video in your marketing strategy…

Understanding Your Customer and Your Business

As I mentioned above, the key to successful online video strategy is to gain and understanding of your customers. This way you’ll always keep your focus on creating video content that is relevant to your customer.

You don’t have to make videos for every hunter on the Web. You only have to make the most relevant video for your specific target customer. This is where you’ll find the most success and return for your monetary and time investment.

I like the approach the folks at Woods N’ Water take with their online video series available on My Outdoor TV.

Here is their description of their online video:

Woods N’ Water Television Series is not only entertaining but specifically produced to be interesting, exciting, informative, filled with humor, and true-to-life; honestly portrayed adventures without a lot of hype. The information on the program is straightforward and not wrapped around hard selling our audience products. It is refreshingly honest and doesn’t contain any rock music over the hunt, ridiculous whispering you can’t hear, bad acting with exasperated high-fives, pumping arms, shaking closed fists, giggling after a kill, or phony excitement after taking an animal. We just don’t do that. We respect our audience’s intelligence and do all we can to give you a show that you can not only relate to, but believe in as well! You can count on a down-to-earth show jam packed with excitement, anticipation, humor and honesty. Over the last 25 years, we have compiled an overwhelming number of our programs–95% or more–in the wild. We have also produced several programs in hunting preserves from 1,000 to 5,000 acres in size. While hunting in preserves is not for everyone, some members of our viewing audience enjoy these programs and, for a variety of reasons, hunt in preserves. Whenever we tape a show in a preserve, however, we make sure that our audience knows this fact by clearly stating it in the opening sequence.

Blat and Bleat from Woods N’ Water

Woods N’ Water understands their customer and by showing videos such as this video on calling, they are using their knowledge of deer hunting and educating their users. Woods N’ Water is creating a trust and increasing the likelihood of their target audience joining in for a guided hunt.

Viral Video

Viral video seems to be the buzzword used most when the topic of online video is discussed.

Creating video that is shared amongst your target audience is an obvious goal for any online video strategy.

Often when we think of viral video the first things that come to mind are guys performing crazy stunts on You Tube or babies being caught saying funny things. It’s mostly America’s Funniest Home Video-type stuff.

But to create focused viral video there is a formula you should take so the results of your video going viral have the highest potential for actual return on your invested time and money.

In the post 3 Viral Video Ideas for Hunting Businesses I discussed my non-scientific equation for creating compelling online video:

(Clever Entertainment) + (Sharability) + (Target Audience) + (Product/Service/Personal Brand Tie-in) – (Push-Marketing) = (Successful Viral Video)

In this video, the team at Bowhunting.com does an excellent job of understanding their audience and using the ingredients for a quality viral video:

(192” Trophy Buck) + (Video blog, Share features with video, emailed to followers) + (Bowhunters) + (Products used in the video are available for sale on Bowhunting.com) – (Users opt into view the video online) = (Successful video for Bowhunting.com)

Now, Todd Graf of Bowhunting.com worked hard to harvest that trophy buck and the buck is definitely the story of this video. However, you can create quality viral video by using the aspects of your business that match the formula.

Goal-Oriented Video

As with anything, it’s important to focus on specific goals for your online video strategy.

When you’re sitting around brainstorming ideas for a video throw around some ideas for specific goals. This could be something like “How do you feel about making a video that increases the awareness for our new turkey call or for our collection of turkey calls?”

Sometimes if you start with an idea for a specific goal, the ideas for creating the actual video will fall into place.

Check out the videos from Arkansas Outdoors Online TV.

This video was focused on educating the target audience, turkey hunters, on the proper way to use a specific turkey call. The goal of the video was probably to turn casual visitors into dedicated followers or subscribers. Turkey hunters will likely find this video valuable and will come back to Arkansas Outdoors Online for more video content.

Summary

Online video is going to be a big part of the future success of businesses in the hunting industry. Get started with your video initiatives today so you can take advantage of the video communication medium to connect on a more valuable level with your customer.

Understand your business and your customer and set strategic and specific goals that will create win-win situations for your customer and your business. This is the recipe for long-term success with any marketing strategy.

Don’t be afraid to test different things. Continue testing – it’s the best way to find out what your target audience is yearning from you.

Best of luck with your online video strategy.

Bonus – Favorite Online Hunting Videos

3 Rivers Archery Broadhead

New Archery Products

Michael Waddell Hunts Illinois

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

How to Keep it Simple – The Flip Video Camcorder

Disrupt the Hunting Industry

3 Viral Videos Ideas for Hunting Businesses

What to read next on the Web

How to Release Your Web Marketing Potential

10 Secrets For Creating Viral Content

Persuasive Online Video Strategies

Image courtesy of Will Foster Photography

What Daylong Deer Hunting Taught Me About Blogging

It’s not easy to sit in a tree for 10 hours waiting for a deer to walk by

Oris Pocket Watch

I’ve always enjoyed spending time out in the woods, in my tree stand, with a Thermos full of extra black coffee, waiting for that trophy buck to walk past.

Recently I was out in the woods on a crisp, chilly, brisk Wisconsin autumn morning and about halfway through the day I got to thinking about blogging (there is a lot of time to sit and think out in the deer woods).

A day in the woods waiting for deer to walk by is a lot like the process of starting a blog.

Let me explain in more detail…

Initial Burst of Excitement

Hunting

Usually when I get to my tree stand (about 20 to 30 minutes before sunrise – shooting time is typically about 10 minutes before sunrise) I find that the first 45 minutes to an hour of sunlight is the best time to see deer during any hunt.

I like to hunt in travel funnels so in the morning the deer are typically moving from their evening and nighttime feeding areas and heading back to their daytime bedding areas. They typically do this right around sunrise when the temperature is cool and the daylight still low.

There is often much excitement in the deer woods in the early morning. It’s fun and thrilling and I’ve harvested most of my deer during this time.

Blogging

Starting a blog follows much the same trend of an all day deer hunt.

When you start a blog for your personal passions or for your business passions you will likely become excited during the initial days and weeks of the blog as people discover your writing, leave comments, and even share your posts on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

When you first start a blog you’re also usually excited about the new undertaking and you’re telling anybody that will listen about your new blog. You’re being more active in the various communities on the Web and you’re getting people interested.

It feels great to be a blogger who has just launched a blog.

Midmorning Lull

Hunting

After the early morning rush of deer there is usually a drop off from about 9am to noon.

Things quiet down in the woods as the deer are finding their daytime bedding areas. They stick close to their beds as they chew on their cud and rest for the morning. There is never much movement during this time.

I have seen deer during this time of course. They’re usually running, being chased, or possibly looking for some acorns very close to their daytime bedding area.

This is usually the time during my daylong hunts that I take out a good marketing book and take some time to read.

Blogging

After the initial excitement of starting a blog wears off (and it typically does) there is a lull in activity – both from you and your initial readers.

The drive and excitement from you tends to wear out as your initial rush of ideas for blog posts wanes. The traffic of curious visitors can wear off as curious hunters continue searching the Web for new blogs to frequent. It’s difficult to get loyal readers especially in the first few days and weeks of blogging.

There is typically a lull period of blogging that takes place. Don’t let it discourage you. Take this time to look back on what was successful with your blog initially and work to implement new posts and activities to build on the success. The lull is a great time to study your blog and expand on your initial successes.

Midday Uptick in Activity

Hunting

Four seasons ago I spent the entire opening day and second day of the Wisconsin deer gun season in my stand. I typically like to spend the entire day in the woods, but sometimes it’s difficult to stay out from noon to 3pm as my beloved Packers are usually playing.

Well in 2005 the Packers were on their way to a less than stellar 4-12 campaign so I knew I wouldn’t miss much if I stayed in my stand during the midday.

At about 1:30pm a nice 11 point buck walked up the logging road to my stand and I was able to harvest him. It’s been the nicest buck of my hunting career. (The Packers are struggling again this season and they play at noon next week so we’ll see how things shake out).

Deer sometimes like to move around midday. It’s nothing like the morning or evening, but there is some movement – typically by bucks. I’m not exactly sure why, but I hear stories of hunters taking deer as they walk to their trucks for lunch.

Midday is not a burst of excitement, but it’s a good time to hunker down and wait patiently.

Blogging

After you start your blog and you get past the initial excitement of launch and you make it through the lull that follows there is a time when you’ll start to see your traffic begin to increase – usually at a slow, but steady rate.

This uptick in activity on your blog usually happens because you’re starting to establish your blogging voice. During your blog’s lull you took the time to analyze a few of the trends on your blog and now you’re focusing on writing the types of posts that connect with your target audience. You’re starting to build a group of loyal readers who look forward to your posts on a regular basis and when presented with the opportunity they share the news about your blog with others.

This is a slow building period for bloggers, but it’s usually enough to keep you driven as your traffic and impact continue building.

Evening Rush

Hunting

About an hour or two before sunset there is another exciting rush of deer activity in the woods. Deer will now make their way from their daytime bedding areas to their evening and nighttime feeding areas. They’re beginning to get hungry and they’re well rested from their daylong sit.

The does will make their way to the feeding areas and if the rut is in full swing the bucks will be crossing their travel routes hoping to find Miss Right.

It’s a fun time to be in the woods as there is lots of exciting activity. And this activity seems to continue right up until it’s too dark to see your own hand in front of your face.

Blogging

As your blog slowly builds a following over the initial few months and even years you’ll start to see an increase in the number of followers and visitors. As more and more people discover and spread the word about your blog you’ll begin to see exponentially increasing numbers.

It’s a fun time to be a blogger as you seem to hit your own critical mass. This is what all bloggers dream about when they start their blogs.

However, most bloggers don’t make it to this point because they get frustrated with the time it takes to reach this point.

Conclusion

Just as with hunting all day – most hunters don’t make it through an all day hunt and as a result can miss out on opportunities.

Put in the time and effort to make it all the way through your blogging cycle.

It’ll pay off over time.

What are your stories of success in the blogging world?

What stage of blogging are you in?

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

20 Steps to Starting Your Blog

Aggregate Your Archives

How to Write a Blog Post

What to read next on the Web

Getting Over the Blogger’s 6 Month Itch

The Flashing Christmas Light Technique for Writing Irresistible Bullet Points

Thoughts on the Influencer Audience

Are We Addicted to Giving Our Own Opinions?

image credit: wwarby

The Songwriter Guide to Starting and Finishing a Blog Post

I’m in a hurry and don’t know why

Songwriting Guitar

Do ever listen to the opening and ending lyrics in your favorite songs?

If you pay attention to more than a few of your favorites you’ll notice that they begin and end with the same lyrics. It’s an effect songwriters, musicians, and singers use to add more depth to a song. It’s also a technique that takes the most important part of the song – the hook – and puts it at the beginning of the song to capture attention while also putting it at the end to leave a lasting mark on listeners so they’ll listen again.

This technique is used by songwriters and by blog writers alike.

The best blog writers, like the best songwriters, often hit their listener or reader with a bang by telling them the most important part of the story right away, then telling them the details, and then hitting them again with the most important part of the story again at the end.

Successful bloggers use this technique to drive home the story they’re trying to tell or to drive home the point they’re trying to make to their readers.

It’s a proven technique you can use in your writing as a way to connect with your readers while creating quality content.

I’m going to make this a short post because…

I’m in a hurry and don’t know why

Bonus

3 country songs that start and finish with the same lyrical hook…

Im In A Hurry (And Dont Know Why) – Alabama

She Wouldnt Be Gone (Album Version) – Blake Shelton

I Can Still Make Cheyenne – George Strait

What to read next on Hunting Business Marketing

10 Inspiring Country Music Videos for Hunting Businesses

Grow Your Followers like a Country Music Singer

Don’t Rock the Blog Title

What to read next on the Web

50 Blogging Lessons to Know If You’re Starting Today

How to Think of Blog Posts

7 Bad Writing Habits You Learned in School

image credit: lanuiop

10 Remarkable Hunting Business Blogs

The number one thing that makes a hunting business blog remarkable is – Visitor Engagement

Duck Hunt

Business owners, marketers, and managers are realizing the impact of maintaining a corporate blog on their Website to complement their businesses.

Blogs have many benefits including better segmenting and individual targeting through analytics, opportunities to link to products and content pages within your site, etc. However, the most important benefit a blog for your business offers a more valuable connection between your customers and your business.

Today, consumers are looking for more meaningful relationships with the companies with which they purchase their necessities and little extras from.

Let’s take a look at some of the best hunting business blogs. Hopefully these examples will provide some inspiration for your own hunting business blog.

1| Bowhunting.com

Bowhunting.com Blog

Website: Bowhunting.com

Blog: Bowhunting.com Blog

Twitter: @Bowhunting1

Today the Bowhunting.com Blog became my favorite hunting business blog on the Web (at present).

Their team sent out a great email that included info on a great hunt by the owner Todd Graf. The email included the normal offers for great bow hunting gear along with a promo code to use on the site. They’re also offering a free DVD with 16 bow hunts to any customer that makes a purchase for the next few months.

But what made the email really stand out in my inbox today was the subject line, photography, and lede into the story of the 192” monster whitetail. (See My Favorite Post)

Let’s dive deeper into the Bowhunting.com blog as well as the business…

Blog

Bowhunting.com has a team of experts that write remarkable blog posts covering all of the angles that bow hunters care about. The team at Bowhunting.com includes folks that are experienced at both cutting edge online media and connection as well as at their passion – bow hunting.

There are always great photos, videos, and commentary in every post and all the posts always seem to cover the most relevant topics for bow hunters.

If you are a bow hunter and want to learn more about how to harvest your own monster buck this season, head over to the Bowhunting.com Blog.

Business

Bowhunting.com takes a unique approach to the online business world by successfully blending their bow hunting knowledge expertise with their merchandizing and retailing expertise. It kind of reminds me of what the expert team at 37 Signals discusses on what chefs do…

For more, see: What’s Your Cookbook?

Chefs teach their followers how to cook. They give away recipes with their TV shows and online blogs and other forms of media. Once the chef builds up a level of trust with his or her audience, they are able to successful sell cooking related products and services to their followers.

Bowhunting.com has successfully created trust by becoming one of the top bow hunting resources in the world. Their team has built up a trust and is now providing products and services to their followers based on this trust.

It’s a win-win situation.

For your entire bow hunting needs, check out the Bowhunting.com Store

My Favorite Post

Huge Monster Buck 192”: A Two Year Adventure

(Actually found in the Bowhunting.com Gallery under Videos)

Bowhunting.com Owner Todd Graf relives the chase for the monster buck he first started hunting back in 2007! This buck is surely a must see!

Watch the video!

2| Hunting Life

Hunting Life Blog

Website: HuntingLife.com

Blog: HuntingLife.com/Blog

Twitter: @HuntingLife

Hunting Life is a great resource for hunters and conservationists. They are a leader on the Web in providing resources and information on many types of hunting and many ways individuals can get involved in conservation around the world.

Blog

The Hunting Life Blog is a great resource for up-to-the-minute information on the latest occurrences in the world that affect hunters and conservationists. Kevin Paulson and his team of experts work hard to provide only the best information for their followers and subscribers. The team at Hunting Life post regularly and the content is always top notch.

The concept of the Hunting Life Blog is simple – provide information that hunters and conservationists value and provide it so they can make the world better for hunting – today and for future generations.

Business

Hunting Life is becoming one of the best resources for sponsoring quality hunting and outdoor products and services.

Hunting Life offers a quality directory of hunting and fishing outfitters including Dry Creek Goose Camp. Along with the directory, the team at Hunting Life allows hunting businesses to sponsor their site and their podcasts, including the upcoming Hunting Life Show. (For more on sponsorships, see Sponsorship Case Study – Team Huntress)

With their proven dedication over many years, the team at Hunting Life will surely be successful in the future.

My Favorite Post

Back to the Basics by Mitch Strobl

In today’s hunting world, it is easy to get caught up in the “new and improved” equipment that will get you that big buck of the lifetime. Sure all of this stuff is great, and chances are if you use it correctly, it will be to your advantage in the woods. A few specific items that have taken over the industry are scent control clothing and accessories.

Read the entire post…

3| Field & Stream – Whitetail 365

Field and Stream Blog

Website: FieldandStream.com

Blog: FieldandStream.com/blogs/whitetail-365

Twitter: @FieldandStream

Field & Stream has long been one of my favorite hunting magazines. Recently I took a short vacation to Seattle and my reading material on the 3 hour flight was the latest Field & Stream that included articles on how to hunt the upcoming whitetail rut.

To complement their print magazine, Field & Stream has created one of the better hunting resource Websites available for hunters. They also have a successful email newsletter that provides weekly updates to their blog posts and photo galleries.

Let’s take a look at a few more details…

Blog

Scott Bestul is one of the best hunting writers on the Web. I particularly favor his blog because I’m a whitetail fanatic. Bestul provides regular commentary on all things related to whitetail hunting. He posts videos, photos, and interesting stories from all around the whitetail world.

Business

Field & Stream is one of the oldest outdoor magazines in the US. They’ve been around for so many years because they continually provide the best content. Hunters and anglers look for the best how-to resources and stories year-round to whet their appetites.

Field & Stream will continue their multi-channel success of subscriptions and sponsorships as long as they continue providing the best content for hunters and anglers. I have no doubt they will.

PS – They’ve also recently branched out into retail and manufacturing.

See Field & Stream Brand

My Favorite Post

Every Followed a Buck for Multiple Seasons?

For many of us, the day we kill a buck marks the very first time we’ve ever seen him. I have waged a few campaigns against individual deer that lasted the better part of one season, and were sometimes marked by multiple encounters.

Read the entire post…

4| Realtree – Blanton’s Blog

Blanton's Blog

Website: Realtree.com

Blog: Realtree.com/Blanton

David Blanton has been one of my favorite hunters to watch on TV over the years. I’ve enjoyed his honest approach to educating hunters, especially younger hunters, on the ways of the woods. He hasn’t always been the most accurate shot (I remember him missing nice bucks many times), but he’s always honest in his assessment of situations and it’s easy to get caught up in his passion for whitetails and other game.

Let’s take a look at his blog and the company he represents…

Blog

David Blanton writes about all of the things he does in his life that relate to hunting…and that’s quite a bit. He regularly posts, which is always nice for building faithful readers. Blanton includes a nice mix of video in his blogging, which provides a nice change of pace for visitors to his blog. The video is also one of his specialties from his many hunting videos. Blanton also adds a personal touch to his posts that allow readers to connect. This is a strong quality that some bloggers can miss.

Business

Realtree is a well-known business in the hunting industry. For many years the company has been a leader in providing the best camouflage apparel and accessories for hunters. I have owned many items that were cast in Realtree camo so as to hide me from wily bucks. By using blogs to complement their business along with their other social media activity, Realtree has been a leader in media on the Web and for this reason they continue to have one of the strongest followings and trusting client-base in the industry today.

My Favorite Post

His Last Turkey – In Honor of Kyle McFeely

During the first weekend of August I was working at the Cabela’s in Wheeling, WVA laughing and having and big time with a bunch of awesome hunters and thanking everyone for their support of Realtree. It was a great time and I was very honored to meet many wonderful people. But no one influenced me more than Steve and Sally McFeely of Grove City, PA.

Read the rest…

5| Peterson’s Bowhunting

Stuck in the Rut

Website: Peterson’s Bowhunting

Blog: Stuck in the Rut

Peterson’s is another hunting magazine that has been around for a long time. They continually provide some of the best how-to content for hunters of all kinds.

I’ve always favored bow hunting so I always seem to pick up the latest copy of Peterson’s Bowhunting each season. I usually look for info from the experts on how to get close to a big buck. Lots of the info included in the pages of Peterson’s has helped me actually have success over my hunting years.

Let’s take a look at a few details of their blog and business…

Blog

I like Stuck in the Rut for its focus on the content. There is not a lot of distractions as the blog uses lots of white space to offset the main stories, articles, and posts. For most blogs, the content should always be the most important element on the page and Peterson’s does a great job of this.

Beyond design, Stuck in the Rut provides great commentary, just like the print magazine and Website, for hunters looking to learn more about how to hunt. By continuing to fulfill the needs of hunters, Peterson’s has successfully moved into the blogging world from their reign over the print world.

Business

Peterson’s has long been a leader in the hunting magazine industry. With their move into Websites, blogs, and social media, they have successfully found a way to increase their subscriber base and sponsorship opportunity. Customers in the new economy are going to look for companies they can trust. Peterson’s has a strong trust built up with its followers and they can leverage this trust to entice quality companies to sponsor their online material for the benefit of customers.

My Favorite Post

Colorado P&Y Taken from the Ground

I over slept Sunday morning and was darn lucky that I didn’t get a speeding ticket on the way to my Eastern Colorado hunting area.  I like to be in my stand by nautical twilight (when the center of the sun is geometrically 12 degrees below the horizon and general outlines of ground objects begin to be distinguishable). Today though, the sun was rising as I franticly donned my gear on the tailgate of my truck.

Read the entire post…

6| Buckmasters

Buck Bloggers

Website: Buckmasters.com

Blog: Buck Bloggers

7| Deer and Deer Hunting

The Rub Line

Website: DeerandDeerHunting.com

Blog: The Rub Line

8| Realtree – T-Bone’s Blog

T Bone's Blog

Website: Realtree.com

Blog: Realtree.com/TBone

9| Schnee’s

Schnee's Blog

Website: Schnees.com

Blog: Schnee’s Blog

10| Native Hunt

Native Hunt Blog

Website: NativeHunt.com

Blog: NativeHuntBlog.com

Related posts on Hunting Business Marketing

The Top Hunting Blogs Part 1

The Top Hunting Blogs Part 2

Reviews of Remarkable Blog Posts

Related posts on the Web

10 Reasons Your Small Business Should Have a Blog

7 Considerations for Tracking Social Media Success

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

image credit: thelastminute

Ways to Increase Traffic

It’s the number one question for Website owners and managers

Long Exposure Traffic

image credit: Nelson D.

Part of the process for Comment and Receive a Copy of Hunting Business Marketing | The Book was to leave your frustration in the comments. The comments you left were great and I think we’re going to get some great blog posts as a result.

First, a big thanks to those who commented:

Ben G of Ben G Outdoors

JoAnna Zurinsky of My Bullet Points

Marc Reindell of Wildlife Callers

Scott Solar of Shotgunner.la

Willie of Outdoor Freaks

Native of Native Hunt (HBM Member)

Terri Lee of Camp Wild Girls

Rudy Hassall of Winded Bowhunter

There were two themes concerning frustrations in the comments:

1| Increase traffic, gain more followers, gain more subscribers, etc

2| Making money with a blog or Website

Let’s address these two frustrations with a two-part series starting with increasing traffic.

Stay tuned for the follow up…

Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website

This is definitely the most asked question of any business owner looking to expand their Web presence. Getting traffic (and quality traffic) to your Website is something that will drive revenue for your business and expand your Web presence, which means connections that can turn into long-term business partnerships.

My view for getting traffic has been that there are generally two ways for most Websites and businesses to acquire visitors:

1| Save time and pay with money

2| Save money and pay with time

The exceptions to these rules are the sites that find a way to really connect and capture the attention of a wide variety of Web users who become passionate about what the site is doing and promote it on their own simply through their passion.

Even those sites take a lot of time (and potentially money) to setup their success…and even then nothing is guaranteed.

It’s probably not what you wanted to hear, but it’s the truth. And it’s not a bad thing. There is a lot of opportunities to grow your site’s traffic. Some take lots of effort and time. Some take money. Some take little effort, little time, and no money.

Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to increase visitors (and quality visitors to your site)…

Before you start, check out the previous HBM articles tagged: Traffic

Spending Time

Depending on how much time you have to commit to your Web presence, there are lots of things that you can do today and continue doing for months and years that will grow your following.

Here is a list of a few of the ways:

Write Remarkable Content

It’s something that we all generally get tired of hearing, but sharing remarkable content is really what makes an impact on the Web. People on the Web like things that are interesting and make their lives more interesting or in other words they like things that make their lives more valuable – to them and to others in their lives. There’s a reason why Justin from @ShitMyDadSays (my apologies for the bad language) has over half a million followers on Twitter – his Dad says interesting things. It’s really that simple yet it’s really difficult to be interesting. But if you can be remarkable and interesting you’ll make an impact on the Web. Focus on what is interesting to your target visitors.

Comment on Other Blogs

One of the ways I’ve been able to generate some quality traffic is by commenting on other blogs. This can take some time as you learn what sites share your same target audience. It also takes time to actually read through hundreds of posts while you settle on just a few that will potentially be worth your time. Comment on those posts that have the most potential to return traffic to your site. Add value to the post you comment on – don’t waste their time.

For more see: How to Create Marketing Pull by Commenting on Other Blogs

Participate in Forums

Just like blog posting, participating in forums takes time, but can lead to lots of traffic for your Website. Just as with a blog, you get to leave your URL so those who find your comments in the forum interesting can find their way to your site by clicking on your username and finding your other remarkable content. It takes time, but it’s worth it if you target the correct forums.

For more see: How to Properly Use Forums

Internal Linking

One of the things that takes some time, but really is worth the time investment is internal linking. If you’ve been reading this post you’ve probably noticed that I’ve linked to a few posts as well as other areas on HBM. It’s not only a way to provide value to visitors by expanding on thoughts, but it increases page views and time spent on site per user.

External Linking

If you read the blog posts on HBM you’ll also notice that I link to at least three posts not on HBM. I also occasionally link to sites and posts throughout my own posts. This has been a great way to increase the traffic to my site for two reasons:

1| When you link to other blogs and sites the owner each particular blog and site often gets a notice of your link and they are often curious about who is linking to them. They check out your site and you have a potential reader

2| Most blogs have pingbacks or trackbacks. These blogs allow their readers to view who is linking to their post (it shows how popular their post is) and those readers have the option to click on your link. More traffic.

Link to posts that are relevant off your own site and start making valuable connections.

For more see: Make Every Post a Link Post

Guest Posting

New bloggers need to consider guest posting as a way to drive traffic. Most successful bloggers find their most growth as a result of guest posting. While it seems that you’d be giving away great content to other sites when you guest post, you’re actually borrowing the attention of other bloggers and interjecting your knowledge and interesting character to potential readers of your blog. Provide valuable content to other blogs and look to expand your audience.

For more see: Grow Your Followers like a Country Music Singer

Spending Money

Businesses that have sufficient budgets to gain quality traffic have many options for making an impact on the Web. Most programs on the Web that require payment can still stay within a smaller budget. The impact generally increases exponentially the more you are able to spend and reinvest as you gain sales.

Here are a few of the best ways to utilize your budget:

Ad Words

When it comes to advertising and getting quality return for your dollar, Google is always a good bet. Many businesses, in many areas of industry, have had success driving traffic and sales via Google AdWords. The program is very simple and has the biggest company and smartest individuals working to increase its effectiveness. You can spend as little or as much as you want.

Facebook Advertising

I’ve found success with Facebook Advertising. The technology has gotten more useful over time and I think they’re going in great directions with mining all of their immense user data. I found more success for driving traffic for a membership site similar to Facebook (free membership) than I have for driving sales or anything paid. Perhaps you will find more success.

For more see: How to Use Facebook Advertising (Subscribers Only – Join for $20)

StumbleUpon Advertising

I have never actually used StumbleUpon Advertising, but based on the success I’ve had with natural traffic via StumbleUpon (see below) I’m guessing it’s pretty impactful and beneficial. Check it out and let us know if you have success driving revenue and profit for your business.

Affiliates

There are many sites on the Web that are dedicated to driving traffic and driving sales for businesses that sell things via the Web. If you have something to sell, look into the technology available to develop an affiliate program (Commission Junction is one). It’s a good way to give up a little margin in return for more unit sales.

SEO Provider/Service

Sometimes paying to learn can be most beneficial for your specific business. It takes a certain person who is willing to take both the time and monetary investment to go out and participate in learning atmospheres. There are many SEO providers/services out there who will work for you to not only do your Paid Advertising and Natural Traffic for you, but they’ll teach you techniques that will benefit you in the long-term. Consider these as options if you’re willing to spend both time and money for long-term gain.

Contests

People are always looking for deals. If you have access to prizes, try a few contests as ways to get followers, sales, email addresses, etc.

Simple Changes

Some good news for you – there are things you can do to potentially increase your traffic right now that will potentially impact the number of people visiting your site, increase the time those individuals spend on your site, and increase the number of pages those individuals view per visit.

Here are a few of the simple things you can do now to increase your traffic:

Stumble Upon

One of the things I’ve had success with for one-off traffic is StumbleUpon. The traffic I’ve received from StumbleUpon has generally come fast once a page on the site has been stumbled and that traffic has lasted anywhere from about an hour up to about 24 hours. StumbleUpon and its users are very effective at choosing the best content on the Web per my observation. It’s generally my higher quality content that gets stumbled and also receives the most visits after being stumbled. I have also noticed that photos are something the users of StumbleUpon like to see. Almost all of the posts in the Flickr Creative Commons Series have had success with getting traffic via StumbleUpon.

For more details, please read: A Comprehensive Guide to StumbleUpon

Twitter

I use Twitter as a way to drive contests, traffic to posts, and other things. I also use Twitter to share the content of others. I try to share others’ content more than my own so I’m not spamming too much. Twitter takes some time and effort, but the return I’ve seen in connections alone would be well worth the investment. The monetary return I’ve seen has been an added bonus.

Join Twitter and look to make connections by adding value any way you can.

Improve Your Titles

Titles are important to driving traffic to your blog and site. The Cosmo Headline Strategy is a great way to write remarkable and eye-catching titles for your posts. Usually, someone’s first introduction to your site is a title on a search engine result or a title on someone’s site. Consider the things that will entice people to click while remembering that the title still has to be truthful in what your post will provide.

Write Content that Visitors can Scan

Web users love to scan content. There is so much content on the Web that people need to scan most of it before they decide if they will read your arguments on topics. Use headlines, sections and call-outs to make your content easy for people to scan. If your write strong lists and strong headings you’ll get people to stop and pay attention.

For more see: 42 Marketing Lists from The Future Buzz

Highlight Others

One of the most successful ways I’ve been able to make connections on the Web and thus drive traffic has been highlighting the success of others. When you participate in social media like Twitter or when you’re writing content for a blog post, write about how amazing and remarkable others are. Write about the folks who may be wanting for some attention and who are looking to make connections. Feed their appetites and see your traffic increase as the conversation about you spreads.

For more see: Highlight Others

More Resources on the Web

New Bloggers: Need Traffic?

25 Ways to Build Your Community

Ad Swaps: A Smart and Easy Way to Get Free Traffic

Related posts on Hunting Business Marketing

5 Simple Ways to Increase Traffic on Your Website

How to Drive Visitors Deep Into Your Website

The NFL Guide to Website Traffic

Related posts on the Web

Three simple actions that doubled my website traffic in 30 days

How to Find Readers for Your Blog

How I’d Promote My Blog If I Were Starting Out Again