What does it take to Blog? | SEO tip # 56

Can you imagine yourself blogging for a living? Can you imagine yourself making $4,000 per month or even $10,000 per month? It is a feasible concept as long as you know what is entailed in creating a blog and sustaining successful blog.

The most common issue or problem is finding the time to blog on a consistent basis. To even consider making a living blogging requires a daily commitment and longevity. Next, you need to have quality content with a following. If you write consistently, people will find your content.To get started e-mailing friends and family asking them to post comments and to subscribe to your feeds helps initiate the process. More times than none family members will have e-mails to their friends and they will forward it along for you and the snowball effect begins.

There are multiple of different blogging platforms, one of the best providers is blogger which is free. Blogger is probably one of the easiest to get started on. You can set up a blog within a matter of minutes, literally. You can also monetize it by setting up your ad since account which is automatically incorporated within their interface. One of bloggers downfalls is the limit in templates it has. Another alternative to blogger is Word press, you could find them at http://WordPress.com. WordPress is free and offers a plethora of different templates. If you own your own domain and hosting you can go to http://www.WordPress.org download the latest version of Word press and uploaded to your hosting service and you will have more templates and plug-ins that you can imagine.

Other blogging providers are http://www.drupal.org which is open source and free software. There is http://www.joomla.org which is also open source and free software. A paid service is http://www.movabletype.org and this costs usually anywhere from $50-$200. Another paid service is http://www.TypePad.com which is approximately $14.95 for full control.

As you can see it doesn’t take much to start blogging. We suggest that you start blogging now so that you can become an authoritative figure in your industry as well as earned extra money through advertisements. Google ad sense is probably the first step to becoming an advertiser although there are several others available.

Creating Communities | SEO Tip #52

Creating a community such as a message board, blog, or forum as an extension of your web site can be one of the most effective promotional avenues. As beneficial though might be the fresh content that comes from these communities. Forums, messages boards, and blogs are signs of an authoritative figure that provides quality content with meaning.

Google’s search engine favors fresh content compared to web pages that haven’t been updated. There are several free options including my favorite phpbb. They offer a large community themselves with a large following that provides answers to most of your questions. Setting up your community is rather easy and of course inexpensive.

Communities provide a place for your readers and users to interact and discuss their stories. Quality feedback is necessary to become a trusted figure. Offering moderator spots is a great way to get others involved since they get power spot. User-generated content is unique and fresh, it provides interaction and it details fresh problems and successes.

A blog is a journal or online diary that should be frequently updated by the author. Usually comments are and discussions are allowed to initialize peer interaction. That is the snow ball effect and just gets the ball rolling. You can expect a significant amount of traffic if you have a well written and keyword rich blog.

Forums and message boards and basically the same. They allow your users to post and answer questions. typically each question a user answers allocates a point to their account and propels them up your “forum ladder” to become a moderator or something of that nature. Having a message board or forum passes on customer feedback and information critical to your success.

Maximize your Google AdSense Profits with Blogs

If your own a blog and can write half decent, then you should be able to maximize your profits utilizing Google AdSense. If you don’t own a blog, you can sign up for a free blog through WordPress or Blogger. Blogger is very easy and allows you to monetize your site almost instantly.

Writing content that is relevant to your particular subject is almost the key to getting a well indexed page through Google, Yahoo, or Bing. The better indexed pages, the more chances of people clicking on ads. Remember, people are there to read your content, so the content should be interesting.

Using three Google Ads per page is part of their TOS (terms of service) so you should be aware of this. You should be able to place strategically throughout each page and Google will adapt ads that are consistent with the content of the page it’s on. For instance, if I write about SEO, my ads should be about search engine optimization.

The title is one of the most important factors when Google’s algorithm weighs your blog or web site. Think of a newspaper headline that doesn’t have a good headline, you are almost sure to not pay attention to it. Obviously, you can have a great title, but people need to be searching for that subject. Finding out if a keyword is competitive and drives enough traffic to pay attention to is easy, Google has an AdWords Tool here.

How can I increase my web site traffic?

As web site owners, the question that may come up the most is how can I increase my web site traffic? This is an important question simply because we aren’t artists who create web sites to get our emotions out on a canvas. Instead, we need traffic typically to generate revenue. Whether it be a blog with Google AdSense or an eCommerce web site, the most crucial factor is to have customers.

There are several factors when designing a web site to optimize it for search engines. Search engines break down your web site by looking at different key factors. For instance Yahoo does tend to look at title, keywords, content and links into your web site. Where as Google pays more attention to title, meta description, quality links into that page and the first paragraph in with that particular keyword.

Optimizing your web site isn’t easy considering there are four major players when it comes to search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, & Ask.com). Different search engine results exist at the same time for the same keywords and web sites. You may rank well for this particular keyword on Google, but not on Yahoo. The choice is yours when it come to making a decision on what search engine to optimize for over another.

There are web masters, designers, and owners who are looking for “the next SEO loop-hole”. Why? Instead why not work with the search engines. If they want relevant, honest, yet informative content, then it should be done that way. Black hat SEO isn’t worth it, you put almost as much time as White Hat SEO, the results are there quicker, but when you get caught your done for good. Spend the time creating unique content and it will pay off.

A great way to increase web traffic is by creating a blog. Allow comments, but moderate them since there are spammers who try to manipulate search engines with shady tactics instead of having something relevant to say. Taking advantage of a free blogging service like WordPress or Blogger is a great way to get started. You should get it hosted to have complete control including advertising, content, and placement.

Once you have set up your blog, start writing good content, the more the better. Once you have written about 25 blogs you’ll start to receive traffic. You’ll be amazed on how many people are interested in your topic. It takes approximately 1 to 2 weeks before Google will crawl your site, but if you are savvy and know webmaster tools, you can submit your sitemap and feeds and it will let Google know you exist. This is the appropriate way to let them know instead of submitting your sites URL.


Top 10 ways to promote your website

After you have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars creating the ultimate website, what are the top 10 ways to promote your website?

I was hired recently to help promote a printing and graphics design company. They have been around for nearly 14 years and have an established website. Problem was that the printing industry is very competitive. Search results on various business card keywords typically run within the tens of millions even hundreds of millions. Getting to the top of Google will not be an easy task for any company, even with their credentials.

The first thing we did was installed Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to track visitors and be notified of potential  problems with the sites structure and integrity. Once that was finished we were ready to build our promotional campaign.
Plenty of different websites exist that can help your cause. At the end of the day, you will pay someone, something to receive the tools necessary to promote your web site. Advertising is an art and many advertisers aren’t recognized for their out of the box ideas enough. I have seen some tremendous campaigns in the past that have taken companies from the bottom of the barrel to the top of Google. Here are my top 10 ways to promote your site in no particular order.

  1. Blog – Blogs are great because you typically have complete control unless you are hosted by blogger or wordpress. Even then, you will have a very good chance of receiving back links and traffic. A self hosted WordPress blog is probably the most beneficial and most popular of all blogs, but this can always change. You need to blog about everything within your industry. Go out and see for yourself what is written…Top 10 of whatever blogs work well, you’re reading one.
  2. Press Release – Press Releases can be a little costly if you can’t write a decent one yourself. There are several free press releases sites. If you are accepted they can bring a good amount of traffic to your site. They are also good paid media distribution sites. Here is a list of potential winners…
  3. Be Social – The best thing you can do is self promote without hard selling. Ask people nicely to go and take a look at your website and ask for feedback. People have a tendency to help when you ask for them to provide insight. Also be social on the internet in forums, blogs, and message boards. Do not spam though, but sign up under your company name and leave good comments (not, “nice article now come and check out my website http://www.Iamdumb.com“)
  4. SMO – Social Media Optimization. This could be considered with “Be Social” in the step above, but places like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn are unique and have a particular way of operating. Users do not like spam, do not like to be hassled, and definitely are trying to promote something of their own. I suggest sign up and take a look around at some other users pages and set your up similar to what you see. Invite people by searching for people by a particular keyword within your industry. Places like Twitter will return friend results if you type in a city like Las Vegas. Just add friends and comment and direct message once in a while. Don’t over do it, just have fun and provide valuable information, otherwise people will drop you like a bad habit.
  5. Directory Submission – Directory submission can still be very useful regardless of what people tell you. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be directories. The directories help with back links and provide authority and link popularity to a site. It is imperative that you submit your site to the proper category, otherwise you run the risk of wasting your time by not being accepted. So if you aren’t going to do it right, don’t do it at all. Good place for free and paid directory submission is…
  6. DoFollow – Most people aren’t aware of DoFollow and NoFollow. DoFollow tells search engine spiders to follow that particular link where as NoFollow tells them don’t follow it. The results means that your web site doesn’t get recognized by the search engines. In other words…NoFollow sucks! There are a number of DoFollow sites. It can be time consuming, but in my experience I have seen positive results. A great place for a DoFollow list and blog is here…
  7. Website Optimization – I know this doesn’t sound like promotion, but I tell you, your website is your main promotion and careful attention should be paid to it. You can optimize your site with available tools, both free and paid. I use a combination of both, but prefer Google Analytics, Webmaster tools, and IBP paid service. These three programs have taken websites ranked 128th to 18th in 2 days, literally. There are books and information, some misguided, but nonetheless information is out there on how to use these programs. Just by optimizing the site, it promotes itself, now I can concentrate on listening to my customers and providing them with the level of service they deserve.
  8. Local Search – Signing up for Yahoo and Google Local search is important. If you have a physical location it is important to create a profile and add your address and site to it. Create coupons in Google local, upload products if you sell them to Google Base, sign up for Google checkout because they make money every time you sell, so why wouldn’t they want to promote you? Treat it like a part of your business, if you play by the rules, search engines will help you. They want to provide their customers with the proper information.
  9. Digg, Delicious, Reddit – Again, we could combine these with SMO, but they deserve there own category. When you write a blog or press release go to these sites and bookmark them. Ask others to politely bookmark your articles as well as your website. These have tremendous back link capabilities. Google pays a good amount of attention to these sites and what is popular.
  10. Classifieds – Craigslist and USFreeAds to name a couple are great, but don’t provide DoFollow links.  They will provide traffic, but don’t spam every category and blast people out of their minds with a fire hose still promotion. Be subtle about it and respectful, plus you don’t want people to label you as a spammer.
All this can change especially since Google Caffeine supposedly will take effect sometime after the holiday season. We will see what, if any, change are in store for all the websites. If you find this article helpful please submit it to any social bookmark website. I appreciate the help and I hope you forward to more blogs. You can email me at cgiseo@gmail.com for more information.