Acquiring additional inbound links is the common solution that helps solve most of the problems that SEOs run up against. To make this difficult task a little easier for you, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite link building techniques. Not all of these techniques work for all people, but the list is long enough that you can almost undoubtedly find a technique that works for your case. Continue reading “Link Building Techniques”
Many people feel that photo blogging is the most exciting kind of blogging that exists. Building and maintaining a photo blog is no more difficult than creating and updating a text-based blog, and many people feel that the internet’s high speed, full-color technology reaches the pinnacle of its appeal with the transmission of images. Posting photographs in a blog format on a daily, weekly, or occasional basis is a great way to express yourself while reaching viewers in an emotionally charged and aesthetically engaging way, and surfing photo blogs can help you to get a whole new perspective on the world in which we live.
Many people who run image blogs are photographers by trade, but photo blogging is also very popular among hobbyists and amateur shutterbugs. To be certain, a lot of the most popular photo blogs have gained attention because the pictures on them are of the highest artistic caliber, and a lot of the people who run these striking blogs are graduates of prestigious art schools and have impressive professional portfolios. However, some of the most well known and most often visited photo blogs are as notable for their concepts as for the pictures themselves.
Certain photo blogs, like the popular “Cute Overload” which features picture after picture of adorable animals, are more about the thematic content of the pictures than they are about the style in which the snapshots are taken.
The fact that photo blogs range from forums to display the work of highly skilled artisans to playful collections of curiosities shows that photo blogging is a truly diverse form. The fact that photo blogs are so easy to build and to update makes this kind of visual
communication very democratic, and enables people at all skill levels to become a part of the global conversation about the nature and value of photography today.
Whether you are an artist or hobbyist who wants to create a photo blog, or whether you are just somebody who enjoys learning about new places and things, spending some time looking at the most popular photography blogs on the internet can be a very
rewarding endeavor. You can travel to another place or another time by seeing pictures of faraway locations and long-gone eras. You can see your own neighborhood with fresh eyes by discover how local artists have photographed the town or city in which you live. Photo blogging allows people to communicate all of these things and more, which makes it a very exciting part of the modern blogosphere. If the best thing about web technology is that it allows people to reach each other in a very personal way from across great distances, then in many ways photo blogs are the most successful kind of web sites.
Corporate blogging is a relatively new idea, and the jury is still out on whether it will succeed. This controversial marketing tool may be the beginning of a new kind of advertising strategy, or it may fizzle out in a matter of months. Many companies are looking for ways to capitalize on the blogging trend, and many of these corporations have determined that a great way to ride the blogging wave is to keep a blog on their corporate website. These blogs are often created to appeal to the demographic that the company needs to court, and the content may have quite a lot to do with the activities of the corporation, or it may have very little to do with the company itself. Often, a corporate blog will focus on the kinds of content likely to attract the desired surfers, even if that content is not related to the product or service that the company provides.
Some bloggers feel that corporate blogging is a kind of validation for the blogging movement, and shows that this exciting new medium has really infiltrated the mainstream. Other bloggers consider the kind of viral marketing that corporate blogs practice to be unethical or distasteful. In any case, watching the evolution of corporate blogs and whether they survive and proliferate or fail and disappear promises to provide some interesting insight into today’s consumers.
Learning How to Make Money Blogging
There are two major types of business models that entrepreneurs use to make money blogging. The first and most common way to turn a blog into a profit making machine is to sell advertising to different companies and brands who want to reach that blog’s readers. The second kind of money making blog is one that helps a single brand improve its image by creating positive associations between the blog and the product
in the mind of consumers. Both kinds of blogs can make a lot of money, especially if the creator has a keen mind for marketing.
If you are blogging with the goal of selling advertising, there are two basic ways that you can go about recruiting sponsors who want to put ads on your site; you can let someone else do all of the legwork, or you can do the work yourself and keep all of the revenue.
Within the first group, many people make money blogging by selling space through Google’s AdSense program. The advantages of this program are numerous, as it requires very little effort on the part of the blogger or webmaster to begin raking in profits. However, most people discover that they make less money through this method than they had hoped that their blog would earn.
Selling advertising directly to companies who want to put banner ads or sponsored links on your blog can take quite a bit of time, but it is often fairly lucrative. If you have a lot of contacts in industries that are related to the topic of your blog, you may want to try to go this route.
People who have a strong background in sales and are experienced at pitching proposals can make quite a bit of money by renting blog space to interested companies. The most serious problem with this model is that you often have to build quite a sizable readership before you can attract advertisers, which can mean that you have to do several months of work before you start to make money blogging.
As blogging becomes a more and more lucrative business, a lot of established companies are considering how they can get into the action. One way that companies are capitalizing on the blog movement is by having blogs that provide a kind of friendly face for their corporation. Often, a company will employ an established blogger to create a weblog designed specifically to appeal to that company’s customers and to create positive associations with the brand in consumers’ minds. More than one writer who never even dreamed that he or she could make money blogging has been approached by a company and offered quite a pretty penny for this kind of gig.
The rise of Social Networks, Blogs and RSS on the web has been driven by individuals feeling empowered to tell their story, communicate feelings, chronicle events or write anything that can think of. This is the age of self-publishing as never seen before and with it comes all the positives and negatives of personal opinion.
According to Metcalfe’s law “the value of a network grows in proportion to the square of the number of users” which essentially means the larger the network the more connections/benefit the users get out of it.
You may love the comments or hate them but with 27% of internet users in the US having been involved, either reading or writing a blog, companies that ignore the messages posted may be doing so at their peril. Blogs are a valuable source of research to understand what consumers are thinking about your brand, latest advertising campaign or products/services.
A web log (blog) is a shared online journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and interests. Blogs have become legitimate standard business practices and progressive marketers are building strategies around their use to influence a target audience. Many of these selfdeveloped forums are generating significant revenue streams for their creators. Teen networks such
as MySpace.com and Facebook.com have become destinations of choice for an increasingly connected youth culture.
Witness the success of twitter.com in creating large audience pull and drawing advertisers’ media dollars through the public interest in ‘A’ list celebrities and fashion icons. Yahoo! is also including blogs to the search criteria within news, further highlighting the increased interest of consumer opinion, unique insights or footage of events. In addition to using blogs for research, as a feature to your site,
they can increase traffic, membership and your SEO ranking.
Video logs (VBlog), are proliferating as bloggers seek to enhance their messages. Mobile blogs (Moblogs, mBlogs) can be posted directly to from your mobile communication device. Podcasting enables anyone to create their own radio or television show for download to others. And it goes on and on.
At the heart of the technical revolution in the explosion of self-expression via the Web, is a family of standards called RSS and a rival specification called Atom. RSS stands for Really Simply Syndication and allows individuals or web sites to opt-in and receive content or recent changes from other web sites, the most common of which are news, blogs, entertainment, and ecommerce. The technology
behind RSS allows users to subscribe to web sites that provide RSS feeds or syndicated content. For the marketer, RSS will enable you to communicate and publish information that goes directly, avoiding SPAM filters, to users who choose to link to you, at a time that is convenient to them. You will be able to receive feedback on what the market would like to hear about from you and be able to widen your reach through portals like www.live.com.
Even if it’s something as simple as putting press releases in an RSS feed, marketers will benefit from early exposure to distributing information via RSS and receive valuable feedback from key constituents on what types of content they would like to have.
Marketing and Social Networks
For marketers, do we need to know the latest on what is hot on the Social Scene and what is not? If you want to be where the audience is growing, social networks are an absolute. Public opinion is influenced there and your brand will get reviewed, praised, skewered or viral marketed to stardom.
Several ways to get started now include:
Develop an information blog on your company, product or service. With approval from company leadership, communicate the latest happenings at the company, experiment with ideas and become a Thought Leader on a topic. Remember that your posts will return as other bloggers link to you and what you say is quoted in various ways. For many private companies, this is not a problem but understand that your postings can be used to support everything from contrary opinions to legal proceedings.
The benefits of blogging include reaching an extended audience and in the links that will be added by other bloggers. This increases the relevancy of your site for search engine indexing. We recommend you can get your own blog for free from WordPress or Blogger.
Personal Opinion Blogs
Many top-level executives are using blogs to gain higher visibility in the marketplace. If your strategy is to build key executives’ credibility so that they can be more effective in influencing the media, being invited to speaking engagements and so forth, the use of blogs is complimentary to that.
Advertising money is pouring into the self-publishing space. The audiences are highly segmented based on the focus of the blog. Cost for ad placement is generally lower than that of mainstream publishing sites due to the relatively new position of accepting media spends. Choosing to move your ad spend to a blog or Social Network should come under the same type of analysis as that of any
other site. You can cash in on all the advertising $ being poured into blogs through programs such as Blogvertise
Build Linked Blog Communities
The American political machines have been at the forefront of developing communities of linked blogs.
This allows the savvy politician to create an increasingly connected constituency to state their support and drive campaign donations. Enabling your employees to develop their own site is a good way to foster a progressive culture. Ownership even within the confines of company policy still creates positive connections.
Join Social Networks
Getting involved in Social Networks has several advantages. First, it helps you understand the space and allows you to meet people who have like interests. Secondly, it enables you to influence the participants when you post your views and positions. Friendster, YahooGroups.com or Linkedln are just some of thousands of examples of Social Networks that you can get involved with.
Enhance Messages with Vlogs
Using video and enhanced multimedia can work like TV to communicate your message. There is no medium like video for communicating emotion to the masses. Vlogs will help drive your awareness and recall to a higher level than text and flat imagery.
With YouTube results getting ranked so highly now through Google, generating video can bring you great exposure. You don’t need to make fancy videos to get these benefits either. Often times the simplest ones are the most popular. I just started using Traffic Gyser to distribute my videos to over 200 video sites. I make very simple videos and with that system I’ve already seen a considerable boost in traffic and rankings. Video is definitely the next big traffic generating strategy in my opinion.
Anyone with content can set up a Podcast. Just load up audio files and let people subscribe to them through an RSS feed. Podcasts are great for regularly updated content. Many radio stations are already using or experimenting with Podcast, as are many news led web sites like News.com. Scott Paton’s course on Podcasting is by far the best one for people interested in this area.
Set up RSS Feeds
RSS feeds provide an easy way for companies to syndicate your content and ultimately drive more traffic to your site and increase your brand awareness. You can even set up an RSS feed for the products on your site.
The people over at ShareThis.com setup these 2 cool widgets. The first allows you to setup a bookmark option on your site so people can quickly bookmark it. The second is an RSS button and allows people to get RSS feed from your site. Both are free and take seconds to create. Check them out here.
Legal Issues on Publishing
Every country in the world addresses the legal issues involving public opinion. Ignorance is not a defense and when making comments publicly available, be aware that potential liability issues include among others:
- Intellectual Property (Copyright/Trademark)
- Trade Secret
- Publication of Private Facts
However, in the spirit of free speech across much of the world… Blog on!
Managing the Message
Is it possible to orchestrate a program aimed at influencing behavior with Social Networking and Blogging? Absolutely. Can we predict what the results will be? Probably not. Word of mouth is the most powerful factor in this medium. Bloggers are notorious for digging into the story until the truth comes out. They don’t suffer lies and mistruths well and will band together to create a firestorm of
unfavorable PR for those who misuse the space.
For a Website wanting to build awareness. Traffic and exposure, the opportunity to use these avenues of marketing is very promising. Remember that the individual rules and the power is in the hands of those who believe in your message.
2. Write SEO-Friendly Content
You will build a good reputation with high-quality content. If you have interesting content other webmasters will want to link to your site. (Obtaining links into your site is a priority for SEO.) Also, your content must be focused. Content that works around one theme will help you attract your target market. You will attract attention to your site if you can become a respected provider of information about your niche.
Look at whether Google favors fresh or stale documents by conducting a search and seeing if the top results are from fresher or staler documents. Once you have this information you will have an idea of how often or not to update the main content elements of your document.
So, as you can see content is very important in search engine optimization. Here you can find a useful and effective writing strategy.
Write in “chunks”
Don’t overwhelm visitors with too much information in one paragraph. Present information in neat, readable chunks. If you chunk, your paragraphs will be about two to three sentences each.
Headlines are another way to make your pages more readable. In the past, using keywords in headlines or heading tags in the HTML was a recommended technique for optimizing your page. We still think it’s a worthwhile technique.
Google attempts to extract the topic of a document using the URL, low frequency words contained in the document, categorization, content analysis, clustering or summarization.
- If Google sees a significant change in the number of topics associated with a document after a stable period of set topics or the disappearance of the original topic, Google may consider that the document has been taken over as a ‘doorway page’ and may consider the document and any links or anchor text associated with the document as SPAM.
- Ensure your site stays consistent with its original topic.
Lists allow visitors to scan your pages quickly, as well.
Do not use underlines for web text (oops…)
Underlines should be reserved only for hyperlinks. Underlining text may confuse your visitors. Does it annoy you when you try to click on underlined text that goes nowhere? Why would you want to annoy your visitors?
Write at an eighth grade reading level
You want to make a web page easy to read. That doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be interesting. While you need to keep your visitors excited about your content, many people don’t have time to read involved text. If you need to include detailed explanations of your product, save them for pages deeper in the linking structure. Even so, always explain things to people in as simple a way as possible. Your first priority is getting visitors interested. For an example of this type of writing, read a newspaper. Newspaper stories are generally written at an eighth grade reading level.
Use the Inverse Pyramid
Write your most important information first. Again, the newspaper story is a good example of this format. This format allows people to read only the first few paragraphs of a story to get the main facts. On the Web, you want to do the same thing: present the juiciest information first. This way, people can quickly scan the first few sentences of the page to see if it contains the information they
are looking for.
Using the Inverse Pyramid style of writing has an advantage in search engines, as well. Some search engines will not “read” the entire page. Although this is changing and many search engines are now programmed to read the whole page.
Write it the way you say it
Write conversationally. Talk to yourself! Having trouble getting something on paper? Dictate, using a tape recorder. Verbalize what you want to say on your web page into the tape recorder – then transfer that to the web page.
Also, write as if you are talking to one person, not to a group of people. Use the word “you.” For example, “Do you have trouble finding the time to read a good book?” Avoid phrases like, “Many people never have time to sit down and read a book.” Make it personal.
Focus on your customers
Once you have figured out who your customers are, focus your writing on them. Write just for them. For instance, if your customers are webmasters, your writing may include words that webmasters understand – words like “server,” “host,” and “FTP.” If, however, you are targeting people with no knowledge of the web, seriously think about your language. If you are writing to mechanics or gardeners or the hip-hop culture, use their lingo and discuss the benefits of your product in a way they would understand and relate to.
Other writing strategies to help your customers stay interested
- Use punctuation (- . , ! ” % $ & ~ : to name a few). The em dash (—) can be very powerful
- — leading people to the next bit of text. Get a little creative.
- Use colorful, positive language. Use words that evoke emotion or motivate people.
- Paint images with words. Use comparison and adjectives to create pictures in people’s minds.
Telling stories can help people relate a concept to their real lives.
Is your page neat?
After you finish writing a page, walk away from it for a few minutes. When you come back to the page, does it look neat and orderly or messy and unreadable? Do certain words or phrases stand out? Are those the concepts that you want to stand out? Scan the headlines. Do they make sense? If people just read the headlines will they get the gist of the page?
If you’re not sure if you can proofread, hire someone. It’s the best thing you’ll ever do for your site. Nothing turns someone off faster than glaring spelling errors. If your copy is sloppy, people may think your company is sloppy. Also, if your readers are concentrating on your errors, they may miss your message completely.
Web copy is never finished
The advantage of the Web over “hard” media is that it’s never written in stone. A click and a save and it’s changed. Keep going over your web copy. There’s always something you can improve.
Video blogging has a lot of advantages over text-based blogging, and it is little wonder that this new technology is catching on all over the globe. Video blogs very effectively grab the attention of web surfers, and people are much more likely to become excited about the dynamic content of a video blog than they are likely to find a written posting very thrilling. The more enthusiastic viewers are about a site, the quicker the word of mouth spreads, and the more traffic the site will get.
Of course, there are plenty of disadvantages to video blogging as well. Hosting a v-blog requires quite a bit of server space, which can make it difficult to get started. It takes more time to process and upload a video file than it does to dash off a quick bit of text, which means that running and updating a video blog can be quite a bit of work. In addition, web surfers sometimes grow frustrated with the slow loading times of the files on many video blogs. Whether you opt for a video blog or not depends on what kind of subject matter you want to cover, and how much time you can devote to video blogging. Before you decide to pursue a video blog, consider if there is an easier way for you to get your message across.
A lot of successful websites depend on returning visitors to account for a major part of their traffic. Returning visitors are easier to convert into paying customers because the more often they return to a site, the more trust they have in that site. The credibility issue just melts away. Hence, keep your visitors coming back to your site with the following methods:
1) Start a forum, chatroom or shoutbox
When you start a forum, chatroom or shoutbox, you are providing your visitors a place to voice their opinions and interact with their peers — all of them are visitors of your site. As conversations build up, a sense of community will also follow and your visitors will come back to your site almost religiously every day.
2) Start a web log (blog)
Keep an online journal, or more commonly known as a blog, on your site and keep it updated with latest news about yourself. Human beings are curious creatures and they will keep their eyes glued to the monitor if you post fresh news frequently. You will also build up your credibility as you are proving to them that there is also a real life person behind the website.
3) Carry out polls or surveys
Polls and surveys are other forms of interaction that you should definitely consider adding to your site. They provide a quick way for visitors to voice their opinions and to get involved in your website. Be sure to publish polls or surveys that are strongly relevant to the target market of your website to keep them interested to find out about the results.
4) Hold puzzles, quizzes and games
Just imagine how many office workers procrastinate at work every day, and you will be able to gauge how many people will keep visiting your site if you provide a very interesting or addicting way of entertainment. You can also hold competitions to award the high score winner to keep people trying continuously to earn the prize.
5) Update frequently with fresh content
Update your site frequently with fresh content so that every time your visitors come back, they will have something to read on your site. This is the most widely known and most effective method of attracting returning visitors, but this is also the least carried out one because of the laziness of webmasters. No one will want to browse a site that looks the same over ten years, so keep your site updated with fresh bites!