I wanted to put this section into the first lesson of the upcoming e-course on finding your blogging direction. However, I thought I’ll share it here since Alexa is often taken for granted but rarely used for what it really is – research and analysis.
So how can Alexa help you brainstorm your new blog if you’re just starting out?
If you have a site, Alexa is a free service that provides a great way for you to participate with a large audience who too are sharing their statistics in traffic, rank and keywords with you. In addition, you’re provided with a means to track, aggregate and organize incoming as well as outgoing traffic from your blog.
What does that mean?
Think of it as many individuals and organizations voluntarily allowing themselves to compete with you. Any site’s stats can be seen. Now don’t let that scare you. Once you go live online, understanding who else is out there can do a lot for you in terms of competition, trends and creatively unlocking unique means to stand out in a market that may or may not be saturated.
Thus, if you have the knack for researching how you can better influence your audience or readers on your particular chosen topic, Alexa is one of those sites to keep under your wings. Their stats are one metric which veteran and newbie bloggers eyeball as a way to engage with for potential engagement.
That leads me into my next reason.
Alexa is so powerful because you can give advertisers another reason to work with you. Through seeing who’s the best of the best, who’s trending and whatnot, they can better decide how you fit into their portfolio of sites to promote on. Hence, there are opportunities here when you participate in a nice, global source where website owners who actually view and analyze their traffic streams interact.
As a registered user of Alexa, they make it easy to see what it is you need to know to make your next move. Now, let’s take a look at what the service gives you, the benefits in joining it’s community and even how you can go about connecting with other bloggers.
Looking Through the Top Sites
Alexa sorts all the sites that have registered with them into three choices:
- By Country
- By Category
This is helpful to narrow down sites which you can peek into and research for any incoming ideas, especially on how to start your first blog for instance.
Since the stats are all there, you just have to decide:
- what name to call your blog
- the valuable keywords you can target it with
- the services to register them on – Alexa provides all this, minus the services to purchase your blog.
So once you figure out what it is you want, go on over to a domain registrar such as Namecheap (aff) to see if the name is available and buy it. Then purchase a hosting service like BlueHost (aff) to store your blog’s content on. I suggest these services because they provide reliability and quality care at an affordable price.
Read more about domain name tools and hosting.
Now you can see that the process here is quite simple. The hard work can be done for you just from browsing through the top sites on Alexa. You’ll see exactly who is dominating the market, what keywords they are ranking for and how you can get a part of that traffic.
Thus, niche or mini sites can be created this way as well. That’s why Alexa makes it very handy for make money online enthusiasts to target specifically who it is they want to work with, and seeing the top sites are helpful because knowing more about other blogs stats can help you decide on the little things they are not utilizing.
I must say though, that it takes an eye to look for these concepts, much like searching for discounts at your nearest local market. So imagine what you can do with the information that is already given to you.
If you have some idea of what you want to do, but aren’t really sure yet of where to target it to, browsing through the Top Sites on Alexa can give you plenty of ideas to start. Nonetheless, you can’t be wrong when all the data is given to you.
Site Information Advantages
Looking more in-depth at the information of a site, one can see the:
- traffic stats
- search analytics
- available contact info
- related links
These are all information which Alexa provides for you to look through and see specifically. Thus, as a site owner, you get a lot of details which you can take away to improve or give to potential advertisers who would want to work with you.
Personally, my favorite sections are the traffic stats, audience, clickstreams and definitely the reviews. As a registered member, reviewing other sites can give you potential exposure. Another reason why is because there are barely any reviews done.
Check out the writing an Alexa review article to learn how to do that.
Basically, I see reviews as potential for growth, especially for beginners who are just breaking out online. When you share your opinion of your favorite sites, much like commenting, you will enable the site owners to connect with you directly, and what’s awesome about that is there’s really not much competition to fight over.
So you’re practically hitting it straight into the blogger’s radar, and unlike comments, you get to be seen every time they check their stats!
Seeing What’s Hot
Much like Google trending topics and other search engine trends, knowing what’s hot around the Alexa neighborhood can also be advantageous to you. This is more so for niche site builders or bloggers who are in the market to target the individual articles they write.
For personal bloggers, this might not appeal much. Unless you are in the thrill for market research, there can be interesting keywords to watch. Site owners who are aware, can easily find something trending and perhaps create an article that may pick up steam to become viral.
Point is, you want to keep your mind on timeless topics. Trends will come and go but if you find something that is repetitious, it can quite possibly be a potential evergreen stream.
With a little implementation on search engine optimization combined with article marketing as well as list building tactics, products from affiliate marketplaces like the popular ClickBank, Commission Junction, PayDotCom and even Amazon can make part-time income a reality.
Keep in mind, you are only seeing trends and not really their searches.
In that case, utilizing Google’s Keyword Research Tool can help you narrow down your target keyword further. After all, if making money online is your motive, competition must be within reach. Moe does a great job at explaining how you can use Google’s Keyword Tool.
Utilizing the Alexa Toolbar
Contrary to checking out Alexa‘s Top Sites and seeing What’s Hot, you can also install their toolbar which allows you to see if a site is part of the network. In addition I also recommend the WebRank Stats toolbar which lets you see the numbers of indexed pages and backlinks found in the search engines as well as Quirk’s SearchStatus too.
With all three, you can have an in-depth view at how a site performs. At the moment, the first two are only for users of the Mozilla Firefox web browser. The third is also available for Google Chrome.
Now this doesn’t mean you ignore sites that aren’t part of Alexa’s network, it just means, if you interact with one, you’ll both gain. Thus, this is great for networking with other bloggers who are within the same interest as yourself. You’ll find out that it will be essential as you go deep to share a bit of what is know as your ‘link juice.’
Hence, we’re treading into SEO territory here.
Just know that enabling your links to be dofollow will benefit your site to rank well when you comment often. What’s more, for each user who installs the Alexa toolbar and are a registered member of the community, their site will constantly rank well as well.
So it’s a win/win on both sides.
Remember, your blog is your flagship once it’s live. How you want to go about it online, even to compete with other bloggers might not be in your best interest to start. But somewhere down the line, you want to know how you can make your site better. Alexa can help you with that and what’s more, it shares your growth with other competitors to make you within reach.
I’ll say that’s a nice kick in the rear and worth the insight to improve your blogging to become a valuable member of the blogosphere. What are you waiting for, check out Alexa and register your site if you have one already.
Join the majority who are finding each other online each and every day.
What are your thoughts on using Alexa as a research tool?