Blogging Basics for Best On-Site SEO
Moller Marketing provides small business consulting to help clients learn how to best optimize their websites for search.
Through our experience, we’ve realized that there are a few principles that, if practiced, will dramatically increase the likelihood of your business website getting found in search engines for targeted keyword phrases.
Since we’re a big fan of lists in blogging, here’s the simple list of things you SHOULD do in every business blog post:
10 Basic Blogging Tips for On-Site SEO
- Make the article at least 250 words
- Give the article a keyword rich title tag
- Adjust the permalink to include a variation of the same keyword phrase as your title
- Repeat the keyword phrase you’re targeting at least 1% of the time within the content of your blog post (ie. starting an online business would be used 3 times if the article I’m writing is 250-300 words long).
- Use the keyword phrase to link to another related article on your website
- Reference another legitimate source with a “target=”_blank” hyper link (that means the link opens in a new window)
- Use at least one image in your blog post and include a title tag and alt text with the keyword phrase you’re targeting (make sure the image is somewhat relevant to the keyword phrase you’re using)
- Send the new blog post link to friends and ask them to share in social networks and comment.
- Be consistent in your blogging – I recommend at least 1 time per week to clients who are using blogging as an online marketing strategy (which you all SHOULD BE). Scheduling blog posts is a “secret” that makes blogging consistently a LOT easier.
- Review this article from time to time – for some reason many of these tips are often overlooked in business blogging.
There you have it. Nothing really too “under the table” or “crazy unique”. But, if all business bloggers implemented these strategies, their websites and blogs would get a LOT more natural search engine traffic – and I can GUARANTEE THAT because I’ve tested it with brand new sites and old sites alike, and I’ve seenover-night results (and that’s a phrase I really HATE so it must be true).
What results have you seen/are you seeing as you practice these business blogging tips?
To Host or Not To Host, Is It Even a Question?
I’ve talked with lots of clients about the benefits of having a self-hosted website.
To sum it up frankly:
- Ownership of Content
Yep, one of the biggest factors, in my opinion, about having a free hosted website like yourdomainname.blogspot.com is that you’re basically advertising for another company – in this case blogger. How can an online business really be taken seriously if they aren’t even willing to get their own domain name and promote what they are doing?
To help the “unbelievers” understand a bit more, here’s some hosting education:
What’s a Self Hosted Website?
“Self Hosted” means you pay a minimal fee (around $7.00 per month) for hosting and a domain name. That’s right, you get BOTH for that small fee.
The scope of hosting services varies widely. There are a few costs to a “self-hosted website”, but they are minimal for the benefits you get.
Here are a few details on specific self-hosted options according to Wikipedia: (I generally recommend the first option if you are just getting started)
- Shared web hosting service: one’s website is placed on the same server as many other sites, ranging from a few to hundreds or thousands. Typically, all domains may share a common pool of server resources, such as RAM and the CPU. The features available with this type of service can be quite extensive. A shared website may be hosted with a reseller.
- Reseller web hosting: allows clients to become web hosts themselves. Resellers could function, for individual domains, under any combination of these listed types of hosting, depending on who they are affiliated with as a reseller. Resellers’ accounts may vary tremendously in size: they may have their own virtual dedicated server to a collocated server. Many resellers provide a nearly identical service to their provider’s shared hosting plan and provide the technical support themselves. (BTW – I was compensated for the link in this paragraph.)
Hopefully you have a better understanding of what the options are out there for running a legitimate website.
Now the Pros and Cons:
Benefits of a Free Hosted Website
- Is it really free if you lose all your content and have to start again?
- Is it really free if you can’t modify the look and functionality of the site very easily?
- Is it really free if you can’t use affiliate links or ad space without permission or without paying a price?
- Is it really free if the content you write really isn’t owned by YOU at the end of the day?
Downsides to a Free Hosted Website
- Free blogs are not very search engine friendly.
- Can’t customize Title Tags on all pages
- Can’t add landing pages
- Can’t modify friendly URLs
- Sub-domains, like yourname.blogspot.com,rarely (if ever) show up high in search engine results
- Often times, the home page is the main indexed page in search engine results
- Free blogs use a sub-domain.
- This hurts your credibility
- All the content you’re providing is actually “owned” by the main domain (blogger.com or wordpress.com), meaning they could turn it off at any time for any reason (see Janet’s case study above)
- Free blogs give you little to no online credibility.
- How many big, professional sites can you list that use blogger or wordpress.com? I can count them on one hand.
- Free blogs limit what you can and can’t do.
- In blogger, you have to be approved to use affiliate links within the Google Affiliate Network
- In wordpress.com, affiliate links aren’t accepted. Here’s what WordPress.com says:
- We have a feature called Ad Control that lets WordPress.com bloggers with a lot of traffic (generally 25,000 pageviews/month or more) and appropriate content turn on AdSense and Skimlinks for their blog and split the resulting revenues 50/50 with us. If you’d like to apply to try Ad Control, please use the form below to send us a message.
- Adsense, Yahoo, Chitika, TextLinkAds and other ads are not allowed on free WordPress.com blogs. If you would like to run ads on your blog, one of these options may work for you:
- Free blogs can be turned off at any time for any reason.
- There’s really no way to back up all your information unless you understand computer hacking and exporting…
- Inexpensive: about $7.95 per month (all paid up front)
- Free Domain Name for life
- Unlimited add on domains
- Unlimited email accounts
- $50 worth of Google Adwords Credit
- Unlimited 24 hour access support via phone and chat
Does this information help to clear up your doubts?
Guest Posting Increases Credibility 10 Fold
I don’t post as much here lately for a few reasons, some of which I won’t reveal at this point.
However, I’m still blogging!
Today I saw the powerful effects of guest posting on credible sources FIRST HAND!
Some of the highlights of this post:
Saying No may simply mean “Not yet…”
- EDUCATION: The prospect needs a bit more education on what you’ll be offering and what expectations they should have. Unrealistic expectations are the most difficult thing to deal with.
YouI don’t want to tell the client “I can’t do that…” but in some cases, I just can’t.
- ORGANIZATION: The prospect needs to make sure they have all their “ducks in a row” before you dive into the complex world of SEO and Social Media. Do they have at least one dedicated employee who will be working closely with your team? If not, they need to get one. I’ve realized that my job is NOT to run their business or make their business decisions; instead, my job is to take what their doing and help get the word out there and optimize their efforts accordingly. Without a dedicated staff member who is teachable and preferably internet savvy, it’s going to be a long road and one I’m not sure I want to travel down.
- EXPECTATIONS: The prospect needs to determine what they what to achieve with your SEO efforts: increased brand awareness, more traffic, higher ROI, ORM, etc. If they don’t really know what they want to achieve, none of your efforts will completely satisfy. As I said before, unrealistic expectations are the most difficult thing to deal with and are a HUGE RED-FLAG. Using case studies of other clients you’ve worked with can help people understand what they should expect. If they don’t think what you’ve done is enough, then NOT YET is a perfect solution. Chances are, they’ll go with another firm and then possibly come back to you anyway.
- COMMITMENT: The prospect needs to fully commit to helping you help them. This is similar to organization. If a client expects you to learn their business or industry overnight, NOT YET is a good answer. If a client can’t give you any time to meet together, they just want you to run with it, NOT YET is a good answer. Clients have to be willing to dedicate at least some time and resources if your efforts are going to pay off.
- BELIEF: The prospect needs to believe that what you’re doing is truly of value. A lot of this goes right back to education: if they have no idea what SEO is or why they need it, but instead their buying from you because they know their competitors are using an SEO firm, they most likely don’t truly believe that what you can do is going to help them. I know, you may be asking the same thing I am – “Then WHY would they invest the money?” Good question! Just like the other points, though, if they don’t really believe they need this (and sometimes it’s hard to catch this right away), “Not Yet” is the best answer.
The article was definitely from the heart and based on real-life experience.
The article was well thought out (IMO) and gave practical advice.
After writing the article, I passed it on to all my Internet Marketing friends.
When comments came in, I was prompt to respond.
And now the Home Run…
The article got a link on Search Engine Land! That’s right, a PR SEVEN (I spell out the word because my English teacher in high school told me to and for emphasis) WEBSITE!
Here’s the proof:
The Take Away From All This
- Write Good Content that’s applicable!
- Titles that explain are helpful.
- Guest post on credible websites.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for interaction from friends.
- Respond to comments promptly.
- Celebrate when “Small success leads to Big Success!”
Thanks to Mat, Andy, Dave and team for the opportunity to work with them! I wouldn’t be where I am today with out Mat’s clogging dance skills! 🙂
Guest Post: Finding the Golden Client Over and Over Again
I’ve talked to clients a lot in the past about one key question:
I’m going to take it a step further today and ask another simple question:
What have you done TODAY to find a new client?
Some might ask at this point, “Isn’t making a sale and finding a new client the same thing?”
In the past, my answer was yeah, sure. However, as I’ve thought about it more, I realize that I can make one sale today but then never, ever see that customer again. On the other hand, if my goal is to find CLIENTS, I’m really not only looking for a “sale”, but I’m also looking for a long-term business relationship that I can develop, leading to sale after sale after sale to the same client.
I was reading an article today titled “5 Smart Ways to Find Clients“. They mentioned that finding clients is something almost every small business owner struggles with from time to time. There are quite a few ways to do it, but finding new clients really boils down to putting yourself where your clients are, being approachable, and fulfilling a need or solving a problem. It doesn’t have to be much more complicated than that.
Interview about Making Money Online
From time to time I like to interview people that I respect, people that are in the process right now of making money online – some of them TONS of it.
I did a quick chat/email/twitter interview with some of my contacts and ask this simple question:
If there was one thing you could tell a person who wants to “make money online” – what would it be?
Thanks to all the people in advance for their simple, direct, and straight forward answers.
- Darren Rowse
- Aaron Wall
- Ann Smarty
- Muhammad Saleem
- Mat Siltala
- Joanna Lord
- Alysson Fergison –
- Alan Bleiweiss
- Janet Meiners
- Ash Buckles
- Russ Page
- Collin Kartchner
43 Essential Blogging Terms to Know If You’re a Serious Blog Contender
To become a professional blogger who actually makes money blogging, do you really have to know the “lingo”?
What do you think?
If you played professional baseball, do you think the “6-4-3” would be a mystery?
I don’t think so!
It’s the same in professional blogging – you need to be familiar with some of the important blogging vocabulary if you really want to take your blog to the next level.
Thanks to WordPress.org, I’ve compiled some of the most important blogging terms you really need to be aware of if you’re just getting started.
Notice that the phrases FAMILIAR and BE AWARE OF are italicized. This is to make a simple point – there will not be a quiz on these terms, I won’t be requiring word for word definitions of all the terms, and some of them may not really even be THAT essential in the long run. However, they are terms you will hear and see if you really get in to blogging so I recommend you get acquainted.
I look forward to comments from other bloggers regarding what phrases I’ve left out.
43 Essential Blogging Terms To Know
An avatar is a graphic image or picture that represents a user.
A blog, or weblog, is an online journal, diary, or serial published by a person or group of people.
Blogs are typically used by individuals or peer groups, but are occasionally used by companies or organizations as well. In the corporate arena, the only adopters of the blog format so far have tended to be design firms, web media companies, and other “bleeding edge” tech firms.
Blogs often contain public as well as private content. Depending on the functionality of the CMS software that is used, some authors may restrict access — through the use of accounts or passwords — to content that is too personal to be published publicly.
Blogging is the act of writing in one’s blog. To blog something is to write about something in one’s blog. This sometimes involves linking to something the author finds interesting on the internet.
The blogosphere is the subset of internet web sites which are, or relate to, blogs.
A blogroll is a list of links to various blogs or news sites. Often a blogroll is “rolled” by a service which tracks updates (using feeds) to each site in the list, and provides the list in a form which aggregates update information.
Each post in WordPress is filed under a category. Thoughtful categorization allows posts to be grouped with others of similar content and aids in the navigation of a site. Please note, the post category should not be confused with the Link Categories used to classify and manage Links.
Comments are a feature of blogs which allow readers to respond to posts. Typically readers simply provide their own thoughts regarding the content of the post, but users may also provide links to other resources, generate discussion, or simply compliment the author for a well-written post.
You can control and regulate comments by filters for language and content. Comments can be queued for approval before they are visible on the web site. This is useful in dealing with comment spam.
Content consists of text, images, or other information shared in posts. This is separate from the structural design of a web site, which provides a framework into which the content is inserted, and the presentation of a site, which involves graphic design. A Content Management System changes and updates content, rather than the structural or graphic design of a web site.
9. Content Management System
A Content Management System, or CMS, is software for facilitating the maintenance of content, but not design, on a web site. A blogging tool is an example of a Content Management System.
cPanel is a popular web-based administration tool that many hosting providers provide to allow users to configure their own accounts using an easy-to-use interface.
CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is a W3C open standards programming language for specifying how a web page is presented. It allows web site designers to create formatting and layout for a web site independently of its content.
12. Default theme
Every installation of WordPress has a default theme. The default theme is sometimes called the fallback theme, because if the active theme is for some reason lost or deleted, WordPress will fallback to using the default theme.
Up to Version 2.9.2 the default theme was the WordPress Default theme (sometimes call Kubrick) and was housed in the wp-content/themes/default folder. Starting with Version 3.0, the Twenty Ten theme became the default (and fallback) theme.
The draft post status is for WordPress posts which are saved, but as yet unpublished. A draft post can only be edited through the Administration Panel, Write Post SubPanel by users of equal or greater User Level than the post’s author.
A feed is a function of special software that allows “Feedreaders” to access a site automatically looking for new content and then posting the information about new content and updates to another site. This provides a way for users to keep up with the latest and hottest information posted on different blogging sites. Some Feeds include RSS (alternately defined as “Rich Site Summary” or “Really Simple Syndication”), Atom or RDF files. Dave Shea, author of the web design weblog Mezzoblue has written a comprehensive summary of feeds. Feeds generally are based on XML technology.
FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is rather predictably, a client-server protocol for transferring files. It is one way to download files, and the most common way to upload files to a server.
An FTP client is a program which can download files from, or upload files to, an FTP server.
You may need to use an FTP client to upload your WordPress files to your web server, particularly if you use a hosting provider.
As defined by Andy Skelton, Gallery, introduced with WordPress 2.5, is specifically an exposition of images attached to a post. In that same vein, an upload is “attached to a post” when you upload it while editing a post.
In the uploader there is a “Gallery” tab that shows all the uploads attached to the post you are editing. When you have more than one attachment in a post, you should see at the bottom of the Gallery tab a button marked “Insert gallery into post”. That button inserts a shortcode into the post. WordPress replaces that shortcode with an exposition of all images attached to that post. Non-image file types are excluded from the gallery.
Note: If you don’t see the “Insert galley into post” button, it may be because you have not attached two images to the post.
The pretty URLs for attachments are made only after you have published the post and should be composed as the post permalink plus the attachment slug.
A gravatar is a globally recognized avatar (a graphic image or picture that represents a user). Typically a user’s gravatar is associated with their email address, and using a service such as Gravatar.com, a blog owner to can configure their blog so that a user’s gravatar is displayed along with their comments.
- External links: Gravatar at Wikipedia
18. Hosting provider
A hosting provider is a company or organization which provides, usually for a fee, infrastructure for making information accessible via the web. This involves the use of a web server (including web server software such as Apache), and may involve one or more related technologies, such as FTP, PHP, MySQL, and operating system software such as Linux or Unix.
WordPress strives to conform to the XHTML standard.
20. IP address
An IP address is a unique number (e.g.
22.214.171.124) assigned to a computer (or other internet-capable information appliance, such as a network printer) to enable it to communicate with other devices using the Internet Protocol. It is a computer’s identity on the internet, and every computer connected to the internet is assigned at least one — although the methods of assigning these addresses, and the permanence and duration of their assignment, differ according to the use of the computer and the circumstances of its internet use.
Every web server is assigned an IP address as well, but often times hosting providers will assign multiple IP addresses to one computer, in the event that multiple web sites reside on the same physical server. This is the case with most inexpensive ‘managed’ or ‘group’ hosting packages.
Domain names were created to provide an easier means of accessing internet resources than IP addresses, which are cumbersome to type and difficult to remember. Every domain name has at least one corresponding IP address, but only a small number of IP addresses have a domain name associated with them, since only computers that are web servers require domain names. The Domain Name System (DNS) is what maps Domain names to IP addresses.
Meta has several meanings, but generally means information about. In WordPress, meta usually refers to administrative type information. As described in Meta Tags in WordPress, meta is the HTML tag used to describe and define a web page to the outside world (search engines). In the article Post Meta Data, meta refers to information associated with each post, such as the author’s name and the date posted. Meta Rules define the general protocol to follow in using the Codex. Also, many WordPress based sites offer a Meta section, usually found in the sidebar, with links to login or register at that site. Finally, Meta is a MediaWiki namespace that refers to administrative functions within Codex.
22. News reader
A news aggregator or news (feed) reader is a computer program which tracks syndicated information feeds, via RSS, RDF, or Atom. Most news aggregators allow one to ‘subscribe’ to a feed, and automatically keep track of the articles one has read, similar to an email client tracking read emails.
Many blogs make their content available in feed form for the convenience of readers using news aggregators. WordPress can generate feeds in RSS and/or Atom formats.
23. Open Source
Open source is simply programming code that can be read, viewed, modified, and distributed, by anyone who desires. WordPress is distributed under an open source GNU General Public License (GPL).
A Page is often used to present “static” information about yourself or your site. A good example of a Page is information you would place on an About Page. A Page should not be confused with the time-oriented objects called posts. Pages are typically “timeless” in nature and live “outside” your blog.
The word “page” has long been used to describe any HTML document on the web. In WordPress, however, “Page” refers to a very specific feature first introduced in WordPress version 1.5.
A permalink is a URL at which a resource or article will be permanently stored. Many pages driven by Content Management Systems contain excerpts of content which is frequently rotated, making linking to bits of information within them a game of chance. Permalinks allow users to bookmark full articles at a URL they know will never change, and will always present the same content.
Permalinks are optional in WordPress, but are highly recommended as they greatly increase the cleanliness of URL. WordPress uses the Apache module
mod_rewrite to implement its permalink system.
- Related articles: Using Friendly URLs for On-Site SEO
PHP is a recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It is a popular server-side scripting language designed specifically for integration with HTML, and is used (often in conjunction with MySQL) in Content Management Systems and other web applications. It is available on many platforms, including Windows, Unix/Linux and Mac OS X, and is open source software.
WordPress is written using PHP and requires it for operation.
- External links: PHP Website
Within the WordPress interface, “ping” is sometimes used to refer to Pingbacks and Trackbacks.
In general computer terms, “ping” is a common utility used in a TCP/IP environment to determine if a given IP Address exists or is reachable. Typically, Ping is used to diagnose a network connection problem. Many times you will be asked, “Can you ping that address?”. That means, does the Ping utility return a success message trying to reach the “problem” IP Address?
- External links: Ping at Wikipedia
Pingback lets you notify the author of an article if you link to his article (article on a blog, of course). If the links you include in an article you write on a blog lead to a blog which is pingback-enabled, then the author of that blog gets a notification in the form of a pingback that you linked to his article.
A Plugin is a group of php functions that can extend the functionality present in a standard WordPress weblog. These functions may all be defined in one php file, or maybe spread among more than one file. Usually, a plugin is a php file that can be uploaded to the “wp-content/plugins” directory on your webserver, where you have installed WordPress. Once you have uploaded the plugin file, you should be able to “turn it on” or Enable it from the “Plugins” page in the administration interface of your weblog. The WordPress source code contains hooks that can be used by plugins.
30. Post Slug
A word or two describing an entry, for use in permalinks (replaces the %posttitle% field therein), especially useful if titles tend to be long or they change frequently.
- Related articles: The Start of On-Site SEO – Friendly URLs
“Really Simple Syndication“: a format for syndicating many types of content, including blog entries, torrent files, video clips on news-like sites; specifically frequently updated content on a Web site, and is also known as a type of “feed” or “aggregator”. An RSS feed can contain a summary of content or the full text, and makes it easier for people to keep up to date with sites they like in an automated manner (much like e-mail).
The content of the feed can be read by using software called an RSS or Feed reader. Feed readers display hyperlinks, and include other metadata (information about information) that helps you decide whether they want to read more, follow a link, or move on.
The original intent of RSS is to make information come to you (via the feed reader) instead of you going out to look for it (via the Web).
Programs called news aggregators permit users to view many feeds at once, providing ‘push’ content constantly. See Category:Feeds for Codex resources about bringing RSS feeds into WordPress. See also RDF Site Summary.
The sidebar, sometimes called the menu, is a narrow vertical column often jam-packed with lots of information about a website. Found on most WordPress sites, the sidebar is usually placed on the right or left-hand side of the web page, though in some cases, a site will feature two sidebars, one on each side of the main content where your posts are found. A sidebar is also referred to as a Theme Template file and is typically called sidebar.php.
A slug is a few words that describe a post or a page. Slugs are usually a URL friendly version of the post title (which has been automatically generated by WordPress), but a slug can be anything you like. Slugs are meant to be used with permalinks as they help describe what the content at the URL is.
Example post permalink:
The slug for that post is “
Once upon a time, SPAM was an animal by-product that came in a can and was fodder for many Monty Python sketches, but since the world-wide adoption of the internet as an integral part of daily life, Spam has become synonymous with what is wrong with the internet. Spam, in general terms, is an email or other forms of unsolicited advertising. Spam is very easy to spread throughout the internet, and works on the principle that if you send out thousands, or hundreds of thousands of unsolicited advertisements, scams, or other questionable methods of making money, that you only need a very small percentage of people to be fooled and you will make lots of money.
Common spam these days comes from online gambling sites and those trying to sell drugs for “male enhancement.” Lately, web logs, or blogs, as we call them, have been targeted by spammers to try to increase their site ratings in the search engines. Spammers use various methods to distribute their electronic junk mail, and employ bots, or computer programs to quickly and easily send email or comments to millions of addresses and IPs all over the world.
Spammers can be difficult to track down as they often hijack peoples’ email and IP addresses. When this happens, it may appear a friend sent you the spam, but in fact, the spammer’s bot grabbed your friend’s email address and used it to hide the true source of the spam. WordPress developers and community members are constantly working on more and better ways to combat these annoying spammers as they clog the internet with their garbage. You can help by offering your talents, ideas, suggestions, or just by being vigilant and installing any of the currently-available spam combating tools.
- External links: Using Akismet to Prevent Spam, SPAM at Wikipedia
A tag is a keyword which describes all or part of a Post. Think of it like a Category, but smaller in scope. A post may have several tags, many of which relate to it only peripherally. Like Categories, Tags are usually linked to a page which shows all posts having the same tag. Unlike Categories, Tags can be created on-the-fly, by simply typing them into the tag field.
Tags can also be displayed in “clouds” which show large numbers of Tags in various sizes, colors, etc. This allows for a sort of total perspective on the blog, allowing people to see the sort of things your blog is about most.
Many people confuse Tags and Categories, but the difference is easy: Categories generally don’t change often, while your Tags usually change with every Post.
A tagline is a catchy phrase that describes the character or the attributes of the blog in a brief, concise manner. Think of it as the slogan, or catchline for a weblog.
37. Task Based Documentation
Task based, or task oriented documentation is writing that takes you through a process/task step-by-step; it is succinct, lacks jargon, is easily understood, and structured entirely around performing specific tasks.
To order to get to Z, you need to:
- Step x
- Step y
- Step z
Keep in mind that people who need to know how to perform a task usually need answers quick!
A theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog. A theme modifies the way the weblog is displayed, without modifying the underlying software. Essentially, the WordPress theme system is a way to skin your weblog.
Trackback helps you to notify another author that you wrote something related to what he had written on his blog, even if you don’t have an explicit link to his article. This improves the chances of the other author sitting up and noticing that you gave him credit for something, or that you improved upon something he wrote, or something similar. With pingback and trackback, blogs are interconnected. Think of them as the equivalents of acknowledgements and references at the end of an academic paper, or a chapter in a textbook.
40. Web server
A web server is a computer containing software for, and connected to infrastructure for, hosting, or serving, web sites written in HTML. The most common web server software on the internet is Apache, which is frequently used in conjunction with PHP, Perl, and other scripting languages.
It is possible to create one’s own web server, hosted on any speed of internet connection, but many people choose to purchase packages from hosting providers, who have the capacity and facilities to provide adequate bandwidth, uptime, hardware, and maintenance for frequently-visited web sites.
- Related articles: Bluehost, Setting Up a Bluehost Account in 5 Minutes or Less
WordPress strives to conform to the XHTML 1.0 Transitional standard.
XML, or Extensible Markup Language, is written in Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) and essentially allows you to define your own markup language. XML is extremely useful in describing, sharing, and transmitting data across the Internet. Typically used in conjunction with HTML, XML defines data and HTML displays that data.
43. Blogging Articles to Read
- Beginning Blogger’s Blogging Checklist
- Is Blogging Really Worth It
- 5 Blogging Basics You Can’t Live Without
- Does an eCommerce Website Really Need a Blog?
- I Have a Business Website, Now What?
- The How-To’s of On-Site SEO
- 5 Performance Goals All Bloggers Should Set
Other Sources for Blogging Terms:
A Couple Guest Blog Posts Worth Reading
I’ve talked about guest blog posts with clients quite a bit.
I really do believe guest posts on other blogs are beneficial to all involved:
- the blogger getting the guest post (as long as it’s quality)
- the blogger providing the content (as long as they know how to subtly promote what they do)
- the readers of the blog (sometimes a different voice can “strike a new cord” with active blog readers)
Here are a few guests posts I’ve done that will give you some ideas on how I do things (the first two guest posts were requested from a reader of Moller Marketing that thought his audience could benefit):
Here’s a sample of what I shared there:
I’ve worked with thousands of clients who are either just getting started, have dabbled a bit with online marketing, or who have quite a bit of online experience. Although they all have different backgrounds and knowledge about internet marketing, most usually seem to have one thing in common…
They don’t know what they really want their website to do.
What can a website do for my business?
Makes Sales: Products, services, memberships, information, affiliate products, advertising space, cross promotions – what CAN’T you sell online? To me, if you have a website and you’re not selling something (even another companies products, services or ad space), you’re missing a source of business revenue. (read more…)
Here’s a sample:
Hopefully by now you’ve focused in on what you want your website to do for your business.
- Make sales
- Generate leads
- Serve as an online resume
A website can perform these and many other important functions, but I recommend you FOCUS on one or two core things first before you attempt to become the next “Wal-Mart” of your industry.
Here’s a quick review of the three things you need to do short-term to make your business website effective:
- Make sure your website is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly.
- Create a way to capture names and emails.
- Start a pay per click campaign. (read more…)
Is Guest Posting More Valuable Than Posting On Your Own Site?
This is a common question.
The answer is an astounding…Maybe!
Here’s the catch:
- Guest posting is great IF you have a consistent blog that you can direct people to.
- Guest posting is perfect IF you are competent in the topic you’re writing about.
- Guest posting is ideal IF you have a pretty good understanding of the audience you’re writing to.
Guest posting is AWFUL if you don’t understand the three points mentioned above.
Why Guest Blog Posting Can Be a Waste of Time
Consistency (or lack thereof): I had a conversation with Darren Rowse from ProBlogger.net about 2 months ago. In that conversation he mentioned that blogging is NOT for everyone if they are not consistent. If you blog once every six months and then the next day and then 2 years later, it’s better that you don’t even start. A blog like that will kill your credibility with potential readers that get let down when you’re high on promises and low on delivery.
Knowledge: It’s IMPERATIVE, when you offer to do a guest post about a specific topic, that you provide content that enlightens, expounds, or teaches something of value to the target audience. If your post is regurgitated ideas or re-written content from somewhere else, readers will most likely catch on and your guest post will hurt you more than it will help. One way I’ve found to be most successful with guest posts are real life case studies on how I did something specific and the result of the test.
Target Audience: Would you ever write an article about Utah dermatology for a memory foam mattress company? Do people interested in ballet have a care in the world about the New York Yankees or their fans? I’m sure you get the point. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Ask them questions. Find out what they want to know. Read the blog you want to guest post on and be aware of what’s been shared in the past before you invest the time to compose something that is completely out of their league or gets no reaction whatsoever.
In my opinion, guest posting can have huge results for an online business.
It can build credibility.
It can get you new readers.
It can help you increase sales.
And most of all, it’s a great way to build quality business relationships. And that’s what profitable business is all about.
How do you plan to use this information to improve your online business?
The 5 Minutes Blogging Tutorial for Beginners
Things you should know about blogging when you’re just getting started:
- Used numbered lists: Why? Organization, organization, organization. Reader friendliness! Scanability!
- Use bold text from time to time: scanability, can be good for SEO, reader friendliness
- Quote other blogs in your industry:
The New York Yankees are the best team in baseball and should be blogged about every day! Nate Moller’s Blog Tutorials
More Blogging Tips
- Use bulleted lists
- Use header tags
- Use pictures in every blog post
How to add a pictures on a blog post
- Use Video! Youtube.com is a great place to start!
- Ask for comments – end your blog posts with a question?
- Be confrontational or opinionated or controversial…encourage people to like or dislike your article and pass it on
- Let your friends and family know about your blog ASAP – ask them to comment to get started
- Share your blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks (it’s better if you can get someone else to share them but you have to start somewhere…)
Blogging is not rocket science.
A blog can be a journal of your day to day activities with starting an online business. It can be a daily rant on why you hate your boss (be careful, he might be reading this). It can be a simple collection of family pictures.
For eCommerce purposes, a blog will do 5 main things:
- Build your credibility as a legitimate professional in your industry
- Get you connected to the real clients in your industry
- Allow you to do product reviews
- Help you create links for search engine purposes
- Give you a reason to interview big names in the industry and guest post on other blogs
Why are YOU blogging?
Seth Godin Speaks in Salt Lake City
Before you read this, let me explain what I may start doing from time to time at MollerMarketing.com:
This blog post is a compilation of note taking, internal brainstorming, and reflection based on a great business conference I went to with Seth Godin.
I’ve read lots of Seth’s stuff. I know the guy is good. But I didn’t realize he was THAT GOOD.
Everything he said hit me right in the core.
I left the event with a new energy.
So anyway, from time to time I’m going to do blog posts in a brainstorming format (similar to this one).
Two Objectives for this Blogging Style
- Help readers see how they can put their own brains to work.
- Help me see and reflect on my own crazy ideas
I also hope this encourages questions, comments, and ongoing dialogue.
The more you fail, the higher your chances are to succeed!
Question: Are you a genius?
- Someone who solves a problem in a new way.
- Someone who figures out how to be a person, not a system.
- Doing a word map – PEOPLE is what shows up most.
- His new book talks to PEOPLE, not a company, system, organization.
- Henry Ford created the “factory world” concept.
- Interchangeable Parts – there used to be no such thing
- Ford changed that process
- Interchangeable parts leads to interchangeable people.
- Replaceable people – AT&T hired TONS of women to be operators.
Public school is a scam design to create compliant workers.
The reason they want you to fit in is that once you do, then they can ignore you. – Seth Godin
Hunting > Farming > Compliant COGS > “Artists” is where we are NOW
What is an Artist?
- Being a human.
- Connecting with others.
- Giving a gift.
- Making a change for the better.
We don’t need painters who are cameras. We need painters who paint the way the see the world.
Artists shake things up – they are hard to replicate.
Text books are obsolete.
If you can write it down, I can find it cheaper.
We have to radically re-think what we do ALL DAY.
Don’t become a professional bowler!
- The best you can do in bowling is 300.
- There are no super-star bowlers.
- No chance to stand out.
Don’t get in to a business where average is expected.
If you reward average, how are you going to get ahead?
The recession we are in is not about a bubble. There’s a 3rd thing going on.
A WALL has fallen down – you have the whole world at your fingertips. The world is now there with no middle man.
If you want to write a book, just publish it yourself.
Now you have no one to blame if you don’t succeed.
Why Being a Cafeteria Lady Sucks
- You’re mistreated by your customers.
- By your boss.
- You’re interchangeable.
The Law of the Mechanical Turk
Mechanical Turk breaks things up in to 1 minute segments to get something for nothing.
Create & Invent – can you invent stuff I didn’t think of?
Taking notes are no good! (woops – I was taking detailed notes as he said that)
What questions ought one to ask to FIGURE THINGS OUT?
The way people/kids think now days:
- If you buy a lot of stuff at Abercrombie, you’ll be more popular.
- If you graduate with an A average – you’re “really good at school!”
The next thing I’m going to do is get a D, get laughed at, FAIL…
Most of Picasso’s paintings were HORRIBLE.
Don’t skip the few minutes that are filled with scariness.
Just because the tide is out doesn’t mean there’s no more water in the ocean.
Take a shot – make a difference.
I should try to fit in less. I should try to stand out more.
Gone is the day of Day’s Work = Day’s Pay
The most powerful voice in your head is the voice of the “lizard brain” – it’s the survival mechanism.
Anxiety of the experience of failure in advance.
How can I conquer the “lizard brain”?
If your “Art Doesn’t Work” you’re not pushing it hard enough.
Labor means DIFFICULT
DO WORK THAT MATTERS!
When your lizard brain speaks up and says stop – GO!
SHIP – conquer the lizard brain, get the stuff out the door
Do work that matters
Thoughts on this blogging style?
5 Reasons Why Guest Posts Help Your Blog
I talked a few weeks ago about how to guest post on other blogs.
To give you some real life examples of how this has gone, here are a few links to recent guest posts I’ve done (including readership, # of Comments, & Page Rank (PR) )
|Blog Post Title
||Readership||# of Comments||PR|
|How to Get Started Blogging (Podcast)||Unknown||0||2/10|
|Simple Ways to Monetize a Blog (Podcast)||Unknown||0||2/10|
|Making Your 1st Blog Post (Podcast)||Unknown||0||2/10|
|Do I Really Need a Blog for an Ecommerce Business||920||29||4/10|
|5 Blogging Basics You Can’t Live Without||920||8||4/10|
|The 2010 Goals Challenge – Can You Do This||3509||15||6/10|
|6 Consistent Keys to eCommerce Blogging Success||3509||9||6/10|
|Have You Ever Thought This About StumbleUpon?||Unknown||2||4/10|
It’s one thing to guest post on a blog.
But what is the real VALUE to guest posting?
Here are a few things I’ve discovered after guest posting more aggressively:
5 Reasons Why Guest Posts Help
- Building Business Relationships with Fellow Bloggers: This is probably the best reason to guest post on other blogs within your industry. As the saying goes, “It’s not always WHAT you know, it’s WHO…” Industry connections do so much to get your name out there, help you establish credibility, and build your brand online and off.
- Increased Subscription to My Blog RSS Feed (Email Updates): Guest posting has increased my RSS subscription numbers by about 50% so far. To some, RSS feed subscribers may not be that big of deal; but to me, having a dedicated readership who get updates only helps me be a better blogger and keeps me accountable to blog consistently. RSS Subscribers are important for a variety of reasons. Hidden Goal: I want to have 100’s of Thousands of subscribers and then sell advertising to businesses that value these types of numbers.
- Increased Traffic to My Site: Yes, this is one reason I guest post; but really I don’t care as much about the one-hit wonder traffic that is curious and follow my links to my site. The traffic I really care about is related to the Search Engine Traffic I’m seeing. One way I see this is by using Google Alerts to notify me when Google finds MollerMarketing.com or Nate Moller.
- Link Building on Quality Sites: Another reason to guest post for sure; but again, the link building is mostly for SEO purposes. This is why it’s important to look at Page Rank as you guest post. If the PR is higher, the “link juice” is much more sweet!
- Increased Comments on Blog Posts on My Site: According to Darren Rowse, only 1 of every 100 readers comment on your blog. So what can you do to get more comments? Guest posting on other blogs has helped me get more quality comments on my own blog posts, which to me creates much more credibility on my site overall. My recent post about an end to SEO got comments from people I really respect and added so much value to my initial research.Comments are a big deal to me. If I make a blog post that I feel has merit and then I get NO comments, I begin questioning if I should tweak the article, be more controversial, or completely erase it and start fresh. Comments are part of the community a blog creates. If your blog posts aren’t getting comments and you’ve been online for a while, guest posting on other blogs that have readers and comments is a great way to get your name out there and attract readers who comment.
How has guest posting on other blogs helped your online business?
UPDATE: Found a great article from Ann Smarty about How to Find Places to Guest Post via Google.