I collect the best jump rope videos from around the world and discuss them. For those that don’t know, jumping rope is not only a great exercise, it is an adrenaline charged extreme sport all by itself.
JRV is still very young. It is only about 3 months old. I’ve seen pretty steady growth each week and now average over 220 visitors and 500 page views a day according to site meter. I’m very pleased with what I’ve accomplished so far, but I know there is always room for improvement.
Well Chris, here’s what I think you can do to make your blog THE go-to site for all the crazy people who love jumping up and down with a rope swinging around them 😛 (which would include me too, btw).
Jump your way to the rest of this post
1. Blogging Basics
The first thing I’d suggest in this case is to move off blogspot and get your own domain.
With Chris, the moment I picked his site for the blog reboot I had emailed him and talked to him about registering his own domain (see the new Jump Rope Videos site) ahead of the blog reboot.
For anyone else that hosts a blogspot blog, I strongly suggest that you get your own domain. If you are serious about your website and are in it for the long haul, blogspot (or any other hosted blog service) is out of the question.
It very easy to install WordPress (from signing up and registering for your domain to installing WordPress takes 5 minutes on a webhost that has the one-click WP install) and it’s free.
Moving from Blogger to WordPress
The biggest problem people face when moving off of Blogspot is on redirecting their domain. It’s not ‘that’ hard.
Moving from Blogger to WordPress
The link above is an article on getting your posts off Blogspot and redirecting the blogspot subdomain to your new site.
It’s fairly accurate with one mistake: It’s true that there’s no way to put in 301 redirects on the Blogger server and as such you can’t issue a 301 redirect the way you would when shifting domains normally, but that DOES NOT mean that your rankings / PageRank will be lost as well.
I repeat – I say this from personal experience that the javscript-based redirect does get properly read by Google and does transfer PageRank and rankings. It may not do it properly and for best practices you should contact sites that link to you and ask them to update their links, but it DOES work.
I had a personal blog on blogspot which later went to its own domain (and later on switched to a different domain) – PR and rankings are preserved in Google.
If you’re looking for WordPress themes, here’s are some good lists:
- Themes browser on WordPress.net
- Alex King’s WP competition themes
- My own list of wordpress themes
- Perfromancing’s WordPress themes
- list of 83 ‘beautiful’ themes
If there are any WordPress-specific questions that you (or anyone reading this) have, ask here and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Since you are showing videos, one WordPress plugin I strongly suggest is WP-Video. You’ll have to drop it in your wp-content/plugins folder and add some CSS to your style.css file in your selected theme, but overall it’s a very easy-to-use and very useful plugin.
Once you’ve installed it, just enclose your video URLs (for example a YouTube URL) with tags and you’re good to go.
There’s a lot you can do with the jump rope videos angle. A few ideas:
- Do plenty of product reviews.
- provide a how-to section where you show people instructional videos of how to a) jump rope the right way b) how to perform tricks.
- write health-related articles on the benefits of doing jump rope-based exercise.
- If you can do the tricks yourself, shoot your own videos and put em up on YouTube (put your url on it at the end).
- Do an informational product, something like “lose 30 pounds in 30 days” where you talk about bodyweight and jump-rope exercises. This one is probably one for the future but there really is a lot you can do here.
In short, if you teach people tricks, and if you cater to the health-related benefits of jumping rope, you’ll have a lot more to write about and you’ll attract more readers.
I’m approaching it from an instructional / educational angle, but that’s just my view. I’m sure you can add more to this once you sit down and brainstorm on what more to add.
We also talked about forums over email and I think you should hold off on the forums for now – getting a forum up and running is a thankless task and you don’t have the traffic right now IMO to make it happen. It would be better to focus on increasing monthly traffic and your subscribers base.
I can’t say much about design yet because obviously you’re moving the blog to www.jumpropevideos.com but there are a few general things I’d suggest:
- have horizontal navigation on the top.
- go for a two-column theme if possible – it gives your posts more breathing room.
- as soon as you generate revenue from the blog (or if you have a few hundred bucks to spare), get a professionally-done custom theme for your blog. It pays in spades, believe me.
- go with a wide design (800-900px width) – once again, give you more room.
My first impression of the blogspot site was very bad – ads everywhere and the content is marginalised and pushed down too much. With WordPress I’d suggest that you focus more on affiliate programs (more on this in the next section) and less on adsense (maybe one large rectangle in each post).
Other than that, get back to me here on this post when you’ve picked a theme and we’ll talk about what more can be done.
- use AdSense – like how you’re doing right now, but more conservatively.
- promote affiliate programs – Amazon is a good option to get started, but I think you’d be better off by contacting companies selling jump ropes yourself (this ties in with the product reviews you’d be doing) and talking to them about affiliate arrangements. If that’s difficult for you then Amazon is a fair choice, but for best results talk to the vendors yourself.
- sell text link ads (Text Link Ads, Text Link Brokers) – this can get you some good steady revenue once you sell off the ad spots, but don’t rely on it.
- create your own products – this is where you have to head in the long term, IMO. Along with affiliate products (which you’ll be soft-selling through your product reviews), selling informational products on your site (complete with a DVD set, of course) will help you earn more money from your site than AdSense or selling advertising.
In this section I usually talk about SEO and link baiting, so why not highlight an excellent post on Performancing written last year by Nick Wilson:
3 Ways to Immediately Increase Search Engine Traffic
It’s a lesson in linkbaiting, and it gives you a very good introduction on how to promote your blog.
Talking specifically about JRV, I’d say that getting links from the more respected blog directories (BOTW Blogs, BlogFlux and Blog Catalog come to mind) and asking other bloggers in your niche for links (see ‘the perfect link request email‘ for a template on this) takes little time but gives you a good initial push (just as the links from Perf here will give you some juice as well.
Eventually, you’ll want to focus on link baiting and getting links from a variety of sources.
Ok guys, that’s it for today’s Blog Reboot. Chris, I hope this helps you and to everyone else, if you’ve got any ideas to contribute here do let us know in the comments.