Invasion of the Blogs

  • March 22, 2012
Lemmings are cute, but dumb. If you tell them to jump off a cliff, they will. Just like the people who start blogs because everyone is doing it. Guess what happens after a little while? The blogs die.

In managing a list of many Web sites, most of which are blogs, I deleted countless sites from the list because the sites and blogs no longer existed. The people ran out of steam or had no reason to start them in the first place.

How do you know when a blog is right for your business? Learn why people start blogs, how they find their niche and how blogging tools can be used for more than blogs.

Blog content is king

Some people like to read blogs, others like to read newsletters, still others like to rely on feeds and some read a few or all of them. No matter the method the information is distributed, each medium has one thing in common: content. Having a blog connects your newsletter and your business with all of these readers and delivers important content in a particular style.

I’ve been blogging since June 2000. If you review my early blog entries in meryl’s notes, you’ll notice they’re more personal. When blogs first hit the scene in the late ’90s, they were personal diaries and journals. Like the blog business, my blog has transformed from personal to business speak, although I still add personal notes here and there.

A few bloggers tend to talk about their work, their products and their little world. That might work for celebrities where fans want to know everything about them, but it doesn’t work for the average business person. Other business people want information on how to succeed and when a blog spends time hawking products offering information of no value, few people will return. The people whose products sell well are the ones who provide valuable information. Readers already know what kind of information they’re getting, so they trust that when they buy something, it will be of the same or better quality. This value must be reflected in their blog. It’s much like people who only sign up for a newsletter after first seeing an example.

Who should venture where one has not blogged before?

No one wants to be a lemming (I would hope). How do you decide whether or not to set up a blog? The answer isn’t black or white (what did you expect?). Ask these questions:

    • Can you regularly update it — at least five times a week?
    • Do you have something to say other than just linking to others?
    • Do you read other blogs or feeds?
    • Can you provide information of value to others not just to yourself?
    • How large is your newsletter subscriber list?
    • How many unique visitors do you get on an average day, week or month?

The big decider is whether or not you can write in the blog almost daily. The people behind the high traffic blogs post multiple times a day. Though resourceful, merely linking to other sites doesn’t give visitors much reason to make the effort to come to yours. Reading other blogs or feeds is a great way to learn how to carry a discussion. Find other blogs covering topics similar to yours and check them out. Disagree with their opinions? Write about it and explain your reasons. Cross-blog discussions are common, and that’s where trackback comes in handy.

Trackback is a blog feature. If you decide to comment on another blog posting in your blog instead of in that blog’s comments page, then you link to the conversation through the trackback link. Trackback is similar to the permalink, the permanent URL for the blog entry, but it has a different URL for copying and pasting in your blog’s trackback box.

Aside from the technical aspects of operating a blog on a daily basis, subscriber list size and Web site traffic are good indicators of what kind of reaction you’ll get when opening a blog. Starting from scratch with little traffic means you have a long road ahead and lots of work to do. There is no magic formula anyone can sell you for $97 to make your blog an overnight success. But with some perseverance and ingenuity, your blog can engage many prospects and clients.

Pick a niche

Considering there are numerous blogs out there, pick a niche topic when starting a blog for a better shot at attracting and keeping an audience. meryl’s notes focuses on three areas: webby, geeky and wordy. In reality, this is too much. What I need to do for my readers is create three separate blog entry points, so those interested in writing, newsletters and Internet marketing get nothing but the wordy entries. Those interested in Web design get the webby stuff and the technophiles receive the geeky content.

I also manage a personal blog separate from meryl’s notes. It’s about cochlear implants and deafness. This could fall under the geeky category, but it’s a personal blog and doesn’t belong in meryl’s notes. This blog is written for a different audience.

The blogging tools for both of my blogs come with syndication capabilities so those using feed readers or aggregators can read the content through the software. For an explanation of syndication and feed readers, refer to What Is This RSS, XML, RDF, and Atom Business? When sending a new issue of a newsletter, comment on it or link to it in the blog, that way the blog and feed readers will get the goods, so all three bases are covered.

Blogs in disguise use the same tools

Blogging tools aren’t just for, well, blogging. Such tools are an excellent way to help you update your Web site more often than you otherwise would. I use it to manage the list of tableless Web sites. Using blogging tools is much easier than the way I managed it before, updating the HTML files by hand. Though using a blog tool, it isn’t a blog. In this case, the blog tool has become a content management system (CMS).

Small business owners don’t have a need for the fancy and pricey CMSes out there. They find it easier to use blogging software to manage their sites or hire someone to adapt the tool for their site. Women’s Spirituality is one such site. Karen Casey may not use the blog, but she does have discussions surrounding the articles she writes.

Blogs have found a place in businesses and people are finding creative ways to use them. Some companies have a blog on the intranet for communicating project status, jeopardies and metrics. They’re used for knowledge management. With information pouring in, blog tools provide a way to share, organize and process the information.

Being a follower can be good or bad. No one wants to walk off a cliff with the lemmings, but everyone wants to succeed. Best practices won’t help, since the decision to blog is based on the organization’s mission, needs and goals along with its target market’s desires and needs. A blog about lemmings? There is one, sort of. Or maybe you’d like to start your own and talk about dumb business moves.

Author Bio
Meryl K. Evans (www.meryl.net), Content Maven, is the editor of eNewsletter Journal and Shavlik’s The Remediator Security Digest. She writes columns for PC Today, InformIT, and MarketingProfs. Contact her to get content that inspires action.

By: Meryl K. Evans

Creating A Blog To Promote An Existing Business

  • March 20, 2012
If you belong to any of the following groups, then this article is for you.
  • You already have a business and a website that serves as the official hub for your online sales. The website may be serving as an online store for your enterprise.
  • You need a venue wherein you can promote your affiliate links.
  • Your already have a website, which may not necessarily be a commercial one, and it is enrolled with a Pay Per Click (PPC) program, like Google AdSense.

Success in these fields depends on one essential principle which you might have already realized: traffic is the key to your online business thriving.

You may have in your digital inventory the best products in the world, but they won’t mean squat if no one would get to see them. This is why each and every online businessman will fight tooth and nail just to have a piece of the Internet traffic. After all, the more visitors who get to visit your site, the more potential clients you have.

And blogs can most definitely help you drive visitors to your pages. Here is how you could use them to achieve such a purpose:

1. Download the WordPress blogging software, which is available for free at www.wordpress.com . An alternative is to go with blogger.com. I have posted instructions for setting up a Blogger blog at your own server in this PDF file:
www.pluginprofitstraining.com/blogsetup.pdf

2. Remember that good content is always at the heart of a progressive online traffic stream. People are always looking for information, and if you will give them that, they would read what you have to offer. Dedicate your blog to the subject of your main website. Publish informative entries that would hook your readers and make them come back for updates. In between purely educational entries, strategically include a link to your site by suggesting their importance to your readers.

3. Using the above mentioned strategy, you could also include your affiliate links to pre-sell your affiliate products. The more traffic you drive to your affiliate merchant’s site or sales page, the more chances you will have of effectuating a successful sale and bigger commissions.

4. Links from blogs are unilateral, meaning, they are one way links to your websites. The more traffic a unilateral link generates, the more it becomes prominent in online searches. Avoid reciprocal links at all costs! Do not include a link to your blog from your website. Search engines abhor reciprocal linking.

5. 80% of your traffic will come from the search engines. You have to tweak your blog to attract the attention of the search engine spiders. Now, blogs are already search engine friendly. However, there is a very big possibility that you would be competing with other blogs on the same subject. You have to make sure that once you upload your blog, it is able to outperform its competitors in the search engine rankings.

One way you can do this is by using the title of your post to match the keyword phrases you are targeting, plus put a sprinkling of your keyword phrase in the post itself. I am doing this with great results.

6. Check your blog offline. It should be as readable and as navigable as possible for your prospective readers. Make appropriate adjustments if necessary.

7. Upload your blog to a reliable server that has enough bandwidth to accommodate many viewers.

8. Constantly update your blog. Search engines love regularly updated content, so publishing new entries will greatly increase your blog’s page rank, and consequently, your main website’s traffic.

9. Accepting links from other related blogs will also bring to your site some traffic from sources other then search engines. The way that a blog is designed fosters the building of a community of blog sites, and this will provide for an added stream of visitors for you.

10. You could also decide to enroll your blog site in the Google AdSense advertising program. This will give you an additional income stream. We will discuss this in future articles.

Blogs are excellent promotional tools for your existing business. Use them well and you will harvest the rewards in a matter of weeks.

Author Bio
Get Your Hands on My FREE and Exclusive 7 Day Blogging Report by Sending a Blank Email to [email protected] In this Report I Reveal All The Secrets for Creating and Running A Successful Online Blog.

By: Mal Keenan

AdSense Tips For Bloggers

  • March 11, 2012
By: ReveNow.com

If you have joined the blogging revolution that is sweeping the net, and you think you might want to make a little revenue – or a lot of revenue – from your blogging efforts, you need AdSense tips for bloggers. Blogging has opened up an entirely new way of how non-technical people interact with the Internet, and now, anyone can publish anything about any topic – without having a website – and anyone can profit without even having a product!

Adsense for blogs make perfect sense. Google’s advertising programs are designed to work with sites related to the keywords for the ads that are being presented. Each time you add content to your blog, the Google spiders gobble it up. The more you update, the more the Google spider visits your page. Ultimately, you move up in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for the topics that you write about. You see where this is going. The higher your search ranking, the more traffic you receive, which ultimately leads to higher revenue from AdSense ads.

The beauty of blogs is their potential for rapid growth. If you become known as an expert in your area of expertise, word of mouth spreads quickly and your blog can become very popular. So it is vital that you always teach something with every blog entry. You want your readers to come back frequently and they will if they know they will learn something. Not only will your readers bookmark your blog and return often, but they will link to your blog enthusiastically as well. People in forums will refer to your blogs and discuss what they learned. Websites will link to you as a valuable resource. In short, an informative blog can grow very quickly if the information it provides is valuable.

It is important to write about specific topics, and sprinkle your blog entries with specific keywords to get the best results – and the highest revenue – with your Google AdSense ads. There is a method to the madness. Start your revenue generating blog by testing the waters.

Decide what area you would like to write about and then do some keyword research. Research is easy if you use Google’s keyword tools found at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordSandbox. The keyword tools are located in your Google AdWords account. Yes, you need a free AdWords account to be successful but you don’t have to fund it to use the keyword tools. Look for keywords related to your subject that are high paying. These are keywords where the bid amounts are high. Make a list of the top paying keywords, and use that list to determine what topics you will write about.

Remember, you want people to visit your blog time and time again, and build up a readership, make sure that your blog is well written and informative. Don’t just target keywords for the sake of targeting keywords – the writing needs to make sense! Writing valuable content is the first step to generating traffic to your blog, and traffic is needed to profit from AdSense ads!

You are allowed to use the AdSense ad units in two different places on each page. You can accomplish this in a couple of different ways. First, you can add the AdSense ad code to the template for your blog. This is done through the control panel for your blog, and some knowledge of HTML is needed. The other option is to paste the AdSense code directly in your blog post each time you submit a new post. You can use it once at the top and once at the bottom, or once after a few paragraphs of the post, and again after a few more paragraphs.

Get that code in there however you see fit – but then pay close attention to the results so you can see what is working and what isn’t. Tracking is everything if you want to make real money!

Of course, you need to advertise your blog as much as possible as well. Make sure that you provide Trackbacks to other people’s blogs as often as possible, and that you visit blogs, leave comments – and leave a link for your blog as well!

Discuss this topic in the ReveNow AdSense Forums: www.revenow.com/forums/

Author Bio
ReveNow! is an AdSense marketing resource covering AdSense, AdWords, affiliate marketing, and SEO.

What Is This Blogging Thing Then?

  • March 10, 2012

Everybody is raving on about blogs, it seems everyone has one, and it seems that everyone is telling you that if you want to get on in Internet Marketing you need one too!!

But what exactly is this Blogging Thing?

OK well like everything else, theres the Long answer, the short answer, and Martins Answer(often quite similar to the long answer, only, well, better:-) )

Blogging, Like MOST of the other New Trends, isnt actually new at all. Blogging has actually been around for quite some years now, I would probably say its Infancy was pre-2000 if I really wanted to push it back.

A Blog, or Weblog, is qute simply an Online Journal or diary.

BUT, thats not what people nowadays mean, when people talk to you about blog and blogging, they are really talking about using this blogging software to run your sites.

The Simplicity and design of the software enables even the most technically challenged to add updated fresh content to their webpages, basically if you can type and use Word, you can run a Blog, this in turn is why it is becoming ever so popular, and also why most people do use it for, or at least most people *Were* using Blog and Blog software to run little Personal Diary Blogs.

However, what it really is, is a way to have a regularly updated website related to your business or theme at the push of a button.

Here are the three most popular “blogs” at the time of printing this, they probably will remain like this for a long time, but although these are “Blogs” they are more along the lines of an actual real content website, rather than a personal diary type blog.

# 1
Boing Boing: A Directory of Wonderful Things
67,001 links from 19,265 sites.

# 2
Engadget
65,581 links from 14,884 sites.

# 3
PostSecret
PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.
By frank warren
21,503 links from 12,892 sites.

The MAIN Difference between a blog and a standard website, is the fact that bloggers tend to be more personal, tend to leave more of a personal stamp on their work. Thats why those first two sites above are WAY more popular than if they had just been a standard impersonal website.

DON’T let this blogging craze confuse you, its really not that complex, or infact that different to things you may already be used to, dont worry about this whole “Blog Revolution” thing, it is more of an evolution than a revolution, and the evolution involves websites and online business in general, not blogging on its own, blogging has simply become a tool to enable the following things –

Through free services such as Blogger, anyone anywhere anytime can start a website, without having any technical knowledge.

Through blogging software, it has become easier and easier to add fresh orginal content to your website on a regular basis,

Bloggers share information, ideas and thoughts with eachother through reading eachothers blogs and talking about them on their own blogs,

Those are the simple elements of what blogging is.

When you start looking at the software running the blogs, and the functions it has, you can see even more benefits, and why it is much much more than just “a Weblog” I am talking about, I want you to understand that blogging is an ESSENTIAL part of your entire marketing campaign, along with Article Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and all the other aspects I cover, blogging is essential.

BECAUSE, Not only does your average blogging software enable push button content updates, BUT it also has the ability to do a MULTITUDE of the mundane tasks we have to undertake to build our traffic up to our websites.

Your blogging software can pretty much take care of all your on page search engine optimization AUTOMATICALLY!! All you need to do is post new content!!

Blog softwares can automatically reformat your content into different code types readable by different types of technology, with a little help, your blog could kick out pages viewable in Web Browsers, Palm Pilots, Mobile Phones, and perhaps the best one at the moment is RSS!!

Yes, your blog will easily produce a reformatted version of your webpage that can be syndicated by other sites, read by people directly on their desktops, and much more!!

I do cover a wide range of advanced blogging tactics which I won’t go into here as I would be here for TOO Long!!

Quite simply, a blog, is a software to Power your websites, how you decide to use it is up to you, but one thing I WILL STRESS here at the end is that the whole idea behind the fact that blogs are easy to use is to use them well, and update them regularly, to see the full benefit. Its because of this fact, that a good blog should be updated regularly to get the most benefits, that most blogs are really quite a personal type weblog but DON’T let that start to limit your thinking about what you can do with a blog, look again at the top 3 blogs, go to Technorati.com and look at the biggest blogs.

Don’t you think, actually, that most of the big blogs look more like a magazine now, rather than a journal or diary?

Remember what I said about evolution and not revolution?

You can use a blog for whatever you want, all I stress, is MAKE SURE you use it, and use it every day(or as often as you possibly can regularly)

Thats it for that, more will come soon, thanks for reading!

Author Bio
After being involved with Internet Marketing for some time, Martin has decided to share his Ideas and Experiences on Succesful Online Marketing. Read More Marketing Tactics Here Be sure to check out Martins tips and Tricks, and follow his experiences in Success @ moretrafficplease.com/notes.

By:Martin Andrew