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Importance of Quality Backlinks

Inbound links, most commonly known as backlinks are the indices used by Google to indicate or evaluate the quality of your website content. So high-quality backlinks are extremely important if you wish to rank high on the Google search engine. Online marketing experts know this fact too well, and they use various methods to get backlinks. 


In other words, backlinks are the links in other website content that are directed at your website content. They work like arrows directing the readers to your blog, website or either informing them that more detailed and better information relating to their interest is available in your website. So when more and more people visit your website, search engine takes it as a proof that your website content is genuine and highly respected. In this way, backlinks make your website content more popular in the Internet domain. 
For example, if the webmaster has a website about the causes and the effects of the Second World War and has received backlinks from another website about the Second World War, that will be more important in Google search engine’s evaluation than from a website on the subject of cooking. 


When you have high-quality backlinks, it means that more and more people are voting for you. As a result, when enthusiasts search for a particular content that is available in your website. Your website will be one the top five that will appear on the first page of search engine result. So as far as the search engine optimization is concerned, quality backlinks are extremely important.


Search engines want all the websites to have an equal playing field and want normal links built slowly over time. While it is not difficult to influence links on the website to achieve the higher ranking, it is difficult to influence search engine with an external backlink from some other website. This is the reason why backlinks are important in SEO algorithm. 


Considering the importance of the backlinks to the Google search engine, some marketing professionals engage in illegal activities to get links back, some even try to pay other website owners to get links. Google is not a fool and they are aware of all these tricks. They are considering different ways of banning publishers who try to get backlinks in this way.


The most important reason to get quality backlinks is to attract more visitors to your website. You just can’t wait for the people to discover your website. You will have to tell them about your website and that is why you need quality backlinks. 

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In this age of social media marketing, one can easily overlook the importance of email marketing strategy. Recently, most people prefer using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as marketing tools for their business. Therefore, with the advent of social media most businesses have underutilized the power of email marketing. When used correctly, email marketing can be very beneficial to your business. Here are Dos and Don’ts of an email marketing campaign;

DOs of email marketing 

Do start with a personalized message

An email that starts with a personalized message can lead to a higher click through rate than a generic email.  Addressing the recipients by their names is one way of personalizing the message. However, if you don’t have the names in your database, use a default greeting that is relevant to your customers. Personalized messages tend to receive more attention as compared to general messages.

Do keep the message short and concise

Email marketing is all about getting to the point. Be considerate and remember that your recipients have many emails to read. It is also important to stick to one topic and not highlight dozens of offers. If you want to highlight more than one topic in your email, send each topic on a different email.

Do make your subject line tempting

The subject line represents the headline of your story. The catchy subject line will grab the recipients attention, however, you should keep your subject line to 50 characters or less.

Do include call to action

Email marketing is very efficient if the email is compelling to the customers. A call to action in your email can include a wide range of offers after the customers click on a link. However, creating a call to action needs a lot of creativity to avoid losing credibility.

Do make subscription easy

For a successful email marketing, it is important to make the process of subscription easy and straightforward. Email that has hidden means of signing up does not have any impact.

Do include multiple contact options

This will provide flexibility to your customers and encourage more engagement. You should consider linking your email, Twitter and/or Facebook page. Moreover, providing a toll-free number is an excellent way to provide additional support hence gaining trust from your customers.

Do use email marketing to reclaim former customers

If a client stops using your services, sending an email is an effective way of addressing and improving complaints that caused the customers and clients to abandon you.

DON’Ts of email marketing

Don’t send emails without testing them

Before sending out any email to your customers, it is important to send out a test mail to check if it looks good on all platforms such as desktops and smartphones. This will save you from the embarrassment of sending an improper email to your customers.

Don’t spam

You should remember that it is illegal to send emails to anyone who has not given you permission to contact them. Spamming can affect your reputation and brand hence making you look desperate.

Don’t make empty promises

If you are using email marketing strategy to lure customers, then promise what you can deliver. Do not tempt the customers with an email full of amazing offers only to give them nothing.

 

Don’t use a lot of graphics in your email

Consider sending your clients an email in plain text. Although it may not look appealing, it portrays some intimacy of a personal message.

Don’t’ complicate the process of unsubscribing

There will be times when customers want to unsubscribe from receiving your emails due to various reasons. As you would like the process of subscribing to be easy, the process of unsubscribing should also be easy. Most definitely, you will not want to make the customer angry because they spend more than 15 minutes unsubscribing. You should note that customers unsubscribing does not mean they will not come back again.

Don’t abuse the email marketing campaign

Email marketing is one of the easiest tools to use, but it is also one of the easiest to abuse. You may become tempted to send emails to your customers on a regular basis. Don’t use the email marketing tool more than twice a week unless there is a justifiable need to do so.

– See more at: MissBook.net

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13 Steps to Successful Blogging

Blogs can be a very marketable and very profitable tool if used correctly. Profiting from blogs is just a matter of grabbing the attention of an audience and not doing any actual salesmen selling. In this article you will learn the 13 most essential steps to successful blogging.

1) Where to start?

You should begin your blog with a free blog hosting service such as Journal Home. I don’t say that because I’m the owner, but a free blog host is very rewarding for a new blog.  Starting with a free blog hosting service allows you to begin blogging instantly without having any advance knowledge of scripts, hosting, or programming. It allows you to build an audience and buzz for your blog.  It allows you to focus on your content and not the internal maintenance of the blog. The best benefit of starting with a free service, is in the case your blog doesn’t become successful you do not lose any money or are you left holding the bill. The great thing about a blog is that they are organized in chronological order, your latest entry is displayed first. When your blog traffic grows greatly and you are ready to upgrade to your own domain then you can simply make your last blog entry the announcement of your “move”.  Simply add a last entry stating that your blog has “moved” and type the new blog URL address. Which directs visitors to your new blog site, keeping your following, without a major inconvenience to anyone. Upgrade as you need to…but only when you need to!

2) Niche

A niche is a targeted product, service, or topic. You should first decide on a product, service, or topic which interest you. Choose an area which you can enthusiastically write about on a daily basis. You can use keyword research services like Google Zeitgeist or Yahoo! Buzz Index to find popular searched topics. It does NOT matter if your topic is popular as long as there is a audience for your topic and the topic is precisely focused then your blog should be successful. Anything can be considered a niche as long as it has a target audience no matter how large or how small the audience is. A blog about your cat can be a niche or a blog about the species of the cat family can be a larger niche market, if there are people who are interested in hearing about your cat or the species of the cat family, then you have a niche…you can even choose to build your audience for a market which an audience does not exist, but first you must build your blog.

3) Update Daily (nothing less)

This step is a must and not a suggestion. Updating your blog daily not only keeps your blog more interesting to readers, but it also gives your blog fresh content on a day to day making it more appealing to search engines. Not updating your blog on an occasional holiday or one day here and there is understandable to most, but missing days at a time or weeks is unacceptable and will most likely result in your blog being unsuccessful. To keep your blog traffic and retain your visitors interest it is a must to update your blog daily with multiple entries. Though, I am seeing a growing trend of successful blogs that are not being updated daily, but they are successful and have a stable audience who continue to visit their blog daily.  Regardless, these blogs are still updated weekly with multiple entries.  Until you have a steady audience you should try to update your blog everyday with at least 3 or more daily entries. The best way to accomplish this is to set aside 1-2 hours a day for tending to your blog and adding new entries. It may even be wise to schedule a set time which you dedicate to your blog each day. Give yourself work hours and treat your blog as a job, what happens if you don’t come to work for days or weeks…you lose money or worse you get fired! Same applies here…if you don’t update your blog for days or weeks you’ll lose visitors.

4) Traffic

It’s no secret. You must have traffic to profit from blogs. There are numerous ways to build traffic. Paid advertising, free advertising, viral marketing, search engine marketing, RSS/XML feeds, and word-of-mouth. You should always use your blog URL address in the signature of your email, forum discussions, message boards, or any other communication media. You should submit your blog URL address to search engines and blog directories. You should submit your RSS/XML URL feed to blog ping services like Technorati, Ping-O-Matic, and Blogdigger. You should confidently share your blog with family, friends, co-workers, associates, and business professionals when it relates. Many blogs can be considered as a collection of articles, for this purpose you should submit your blog entries (those that are valuable and lengthy articles) to content syndicators like GoArticles.com or <a href=”http://www.zapcontent.com”>ZapContent.com</a>. Once submitted your articles can be picked up and published by others. The trick is to make sure you include your Blog URL address in the “About the Author” passage. What this does is create link popularity and backlinks for your blog, when someone picks up your article from the syndication then publish the article on their website the “About the Author” passage is included with each publication and the link you included is followed, crawled, and indexed by search engines. Imagine if your article is popular enough or controversial enough to produce 10,000 publications across the web. The search engines is bound to find your blog in no time with that many publications and credit you a authority on the topic, in return increasing your rank on search engines. The small effort of writing a well written article is rewarding. You should try to write at least 1 full length article every week for syndication and submit your article to at least 10 article syndicators.

5) Track Your Blog

How do you know if your blog has traffic? Just because no one is leaving comments doesn’t mean your blog isn’t growing. Many visitors do not leave comments but they are returning visitors. I know it sounds crazy but with blogs people are more interested in what “you” have to say! Many visitors do not comment their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd time. Some do not comment at all, but are active daily visitors.

Tracking your blog does not have to be overly sophisticated usually a simple free page counter like StatCounter.com or Active Meter will do the trick. Install (copy/paste) the code into the html of your blog template and start tracking your visitors. Its better to use a service which gives you advanced traffic analysis, such as keyword tracking information, referral information, and search engine information. Visitors, returning visitors, and unique visitors should be standard for any page counter service you choose.

6) Listen to Your Audience

When using the proper page counter you should begin to see how others are finding your blog and if through search engines then which keywords are being used to find your blog. If constantly your blog is being found by 1 or more keywords then focus your blog around those keywords to make it even more powerful. When writing entry titles and entries use the keywords as often as possible while keeping the blog legible and interesting.

7) Multiple blogs

Use multiple blogging accounts (free) to attract more people. This means you should have a blog with JournalHome.com and others. The more blog accounts the better (be sure to read and adhere to the Terms of Service for each site). You can copy/paste from 1 blog to all others. Having different blog accounts is like having a publication in different newspapers. This enables you to attract more visitors and this also increases the chance that 1 of your blogs will be in the search engine results for your focused keywords.

8) Short & Concise

Aside from the lengthy article a week for syndication and publication your blog entries should be short & concise (if you can help it). Sometimes there are exceptions to the rule and you have no choice but to blog lengthy entries, but try to avoid this as much as possible. You do not want your blog entries to become hours of reading. Visitors like to easily find information and skim through your entries. It is good to be detailed and provide useful information, but do not include useless information or run away sentences that veer away from your topic.  Stay keyword-focused.

9) Digital Art

Try to include non-advertising graphics, pictures, photos, and art in your blog entries. Not too much. Once a week is fine. Graphics can sometimes bring your blog to life. Of course, the content of the blog is the most important aspect and you do not want to overshadow your content with graphics, but displaying graphics can add a bit of spice to the blog. Be choosy about your graphics and make sure they fit your entry topic. You should add content with the graphic, at least a caption. Original graphics, photos, pictures, and art is recommended.

10) Keep it Personal

A blog is most successful when it is kept personal. Try to include personal experiences which relates to the topic of your blog entry. Stay away from the business style of writing. Write with a more personal style and use first-person narratives. Do not write any of your entries as sales letters, instead share product reviews and personal endeavors.

11) Interact With Your Visitors

You now have the traffic you deserve. You should begin interacting with your visitors. Create a regular theme such as: “Monday Money Tip” or “Picture of the Week” which entices your readers to look forward to each week.

Give your readers advance notice about a product, service, or topic which you are going to review and then talk about later. If the President was scheduled to give a speech then in your blog you should state that you “will discuss the speech and give your opinion after the speech airs. Comments will be appreciated”.

Try your best to find exclusive information that not many have. Do not disclose any confidential or secret information which is deemed illegal or can potentially get you into trouble, but try to get the scoop before everyone else does. Such as: If your blog was about Paris Hilton (the socialite) and you had a blog entry about “Paris Hilton Getting Married” then it would be interesting to your readers if you had a actual picture of Paris Hilton engagement ring. Give your best effort to dig and search the internet for exclusive information and you will possibly come up with something useful. Your readers will appreciate this and they show their appreciation through word-of-mouth referrals. Imagine how many readers will tell their friends, family, and others about information they only can find at your blog.

12) Make Money

Once your blog has gained some real momentum and your blog traffic is increasing then it is time to start thinking about turning your traffic into profit. You should use contextual advertising, like Google Adsense or Chitika. Contextual advertising is usually text links which use the content of your blog to publish targeted ads on your blog. The payout is usually based on a pay-per-click model, meaning for ever click an ad receives you are paid a small percentage of the profits. In addition to contextual advertising it is good to also use graphical advertising such as: BlogAds.com, Amazon.com, MammaMedia, or General Sponsored Advertising.

13) You’re a Professional

You’re a professional now! What are you still doing with that free blog hosting service? It is time to upgrade to a domain hosted solution. You need to get a web host and choose a domain name for your blog then check its availability. Select the blogging software you wish to use, such as: Squarespace.com, WordPress.org, MovableType.org, TypePad, etc. When you have your new blog domain setup and ready for traffic then it is time for you to announce your move on all your previous blog accounts. Your last entry to the blog should be a “move” announcement. The title should be “Moved” and the blog entry should state something like “I have a new home for my blog, please bookmark and follow the link: http://www.YourNewBlogDomainName.com”. This way all returning visitors and new readers should not have any problem finding your new blog domain.  Plus, search engines can easily index and crawl your new blog, since your old blog should already be popular with the search engines.

At the level of a professional blogger you may want to team up with 1 or more other bloggers. This will create a more interesting and more powerful blog. The old saying “two heads is better than one”, more authors mean more advertising and exposure because each author will have a vested interest in the blog. The idea of a team blog is to make it profitable and rewarding for all authors, while continuing to target the blog topic and keeping the blog interesting for visitors.

Following these blogging techniques should make your blogging experience much more rewarding. There is no guarantee that your blog will become popular or a household name, but the effort should at least put you one step closer. Making money online is not an overnight experience like many may think, but making money online is definitely a foreseeable possibility. As well, growing popularity on the web is not an overnight experience, but through time, dedication, and persistence you will be rewarded with all the royalties of blogging.

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Do you ever feel like you know just enough about Blogging to be dangerous? Let’s see if we can fill in some of the gaps with the latest info from Blogging experts.

Blogging is a concept that started in late 90s. It used to be a way to comment an existing webpage, an opportunity for visitors and readers to react or voice out one’s opinion on the said page. What started as a single-sentence commentary has evolved into pages of personal take on just about anything and everything under the sun. As it continues to move forward, online advertising has tapped into the blog’s potential. Here are 5 reasons why you should use blogging as an Internet marketing tool.

1.Blogging is simple. The simplest way to get your piece on the net is through blogging. No skills are necessary… an average adult can read and type, or at least click a mouse. It’s like having a virtual piece of paper and you just write your ideas, experiences, new products, and hope that the truth behind your articles comes out and entice your reader to also try your product. If you have a PC and an Internet connection (who doesn’t?) then you can blog and advertise.

2. Blogging is authentic. In this day and age where advertising saturate our lives, we question the credibility of promoters’ claims. However, in blogs, real people share their real-life experiences, unscathed by paid advertising. Reading blogs about first-hand product use is like talking to people about their first-hand experience. You definitely want to buy a tried and tested product.

3. Blogging is free. Because blogging is yet to be proven as a mainstream online advertising media, most sites see it as something to augment current marketing tools and thus offer it for free. Any opportunity for free webtime is definitely a bonus especially to businesses that are starting up. Needless to say, paid blog pages can generate more income for your seriously growing business.

4. Blogging builds credibility. As you get more and more into writing your experiences on a particular product or industry, your readers come to realize that they can depend on your posts for their own information needs. As such, you become an expert on it; as a consequence, more readers visit your site and more bloggers link to your blogs. As companies and professional organizations notice the growth of your readership base, they may soon get in touch with you for advertising on your blog page, or make you an affiliate, which pays for every referral generated from your blog site.

5. Blogging builds your market. Unless you are a Hollywood star, chances are, only your Mom reads your posts. Mom has a lot of friends, so she lets her friends know how interesting your blog site is. But you need not depend on Mom to increase your readership base. Look into the following ways to build your market through blogging:

Knowledge can give you a real advantage. To make sure you’re fully informed about Blogging, keep reading.

-By using your e-mail. Today, blogging is overcoming the e-mail’s popularity in quickly and effectively reaching and expanding a market. In this age of speed and quick access, logging in and downloading e-mail is simply taking longer than clicking into a blog site. Let them explore your site by using a short e-mail message as teaser to your blog site. If your e-mail is on an entirely different subject, use your e-mail signature to give a link to the site.

-By using subscription. An easy way to get your readers e-mail is to give them an opportunity to subscribe to your blogsite. Keep some exclusive information for your subscribers to entice readers to subscribe and give their e-mail address. Just be responsible in using their e-mail address, as the last thing you want is a comment on your blog that you are a spammer.

-By understanding your readers. Conduct a simple survey for your readers to understand their profile and advertising preferences. Ask consumers to give you feedback on a post, an ad link, or a trial that you shared. In this way, it is like interviewing your readers without the commitment and intrusion of a face-to-face interview.

-By joining a blog network –A network of blogs maybe a collection of blog sites that share the same industry, interest, readership base, payment mode, etc. Consumers find credibility and convenience in clicking one link to several real bloggers about a single subject. Clearly, more bloggers are better than one.

-By using RSS. RSS is the fastest growing technology on the Internet today. As such, having RSS feeds to your blog is definitely another means of generating awareness for your readership base. Having a variety of feeds can add interest to your blog site.

Give your business a boost by effectively using blogging as an Internet marketing tool.

When word gets around about your command of Blogging facts, others who need to know about Blogging will start to actively seek you out.

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Blogs are a very popular ways of promoting your product or service. They are easy to install, easy to administer and easy to update. And search engines love them too. But what is a blog without traffic?Exactly. Here are five quick ways to boost traffic to your blog and start seeing those big sales.

1.Build a list of blog services to ping
There are a lot of blog services you can ping. This means that you notify this service, that you’ve updated your blog. These services then list your new posts and you get the traffic from them. I’ve made a list of 50+ blog services you can ping on my site. These list are also available if you search google or any other search engine for it. That should be enough to give an initial boost to your traffic.

2.Add buttons to popular news readers
What does this mean? Well there are sites like yahoo or google or bloglines etc, which have a members area where you can select sites with RSS feeds to fetch the latest updates from different blogs. That way you can have the latest updates from let’s say 50 blogs listed on one page. I have a list of these popular pages on my website plus the buttons which link to them. Users can then easily add my blog to their news reader members area.

3.Update your content regulary
Search engines and blog services love regular updates. It’s very likely that you will get targeted traffic from search engines if you post regulary. That means you should make a new post to your blog at least once per day. But be careful. Too many updates per day can harm your search engines position and hits. What’s too many? 10 or more.

4.Post in forums
Post in forums, but don’t spam them. Post something fresh and interesting and put a link to your blog in your signature. Don’t just post in any forum. For example if you’re selling cds, post in forums that are about music and cds. Don’t post in car forums if you’re selling furniture. By posting in forums you will get one-way links which are good for search engine position in search engines like google or msn or yahoo.

5.Submit to blog search engines
There are masses of search engines available, that list only blogs. Just google for „blog search engines“ and you should find at least 20 of them. These blog search engines will help you with targeted traffic. Be sure to write a good title and a good description to your blog, so that people will easily find it and click on your link.

Follow these 5 steps and you will start seeing lots of traffic to your blog. And the so long awaited sales will start coming in. And don’t forget to update your blog with fresh unused content that you write yourself.

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7 Reasons Why Do We Blog

Did you ever ask yourself, why do you blog, or why do you have to? Nowadays on Internet there are more than 70 millions blogs, and it is interesting what purposes do they pursue?

Until recently, to make money online was not easy for usual people like we. 4-5 years ago it was difficult to earn something on the Net until WEB 2.0 era had came. The only way which could help us in that time was website creating, it’s promotion, and selling of advertising places.

Today everything changed. Blog fever amplifies day by day, and everyone, who heard something about blogs, wants to have it. So, why? Lets try to make some supervisions.

1. Glory. The vanity was, is and will be always. Whether is necessary to be surprised that people wish to be famous? Look at how many amazing people did you know since you have enjoyed blogging. Seth Godin, Steve Pavlina, Darren Rowse… Did you ever know them if not blogs?

2. Self-expression. Many people are blogging because it gives them some charge of energy. I created this blog because I just want to share of my thoughts… Why not? And there are guys, who are the professionals in different spheres, but they don’t have another opportunities of expression. Internet is the best instrument for people like we.

Internet is not developed even on a half and I do not exclude such opportunity, that people will become famous all over again online and only after, in real life. Blogging is what such people need.

3. Job. For many, blogging is a real time job. Companies are hire people to write about their new products and its announcement. Like I wrote in my post Occupation Bloggger, the middle salary of such blogger in US is equal $2,5-3 thousands per month.

4. Sale of own products. Through Internet, we can start selling our products worldwide from the minutes after beginning. Especially if we have an electronic product like eBook or useful software, Internet is the best that we can use. And people use it. Blog helps to realize these purposes.

5. Sale of affiliate products. Recently, are appeared the new techniques, which help anyone to sell affiliate products with help of blog. Check this out.

6. To Help Another. Yes, yes, yes… And why not? I found many blogs of family doctors, radio engineering and even workers of the zoo which are writing about what should we do in different situations.

7. Money Making Online. And eventually people are blogging for the sake of money. Look at Jonh Chow, if to be honest, I’m not against that my blog brings me $18,000. But while I have no such purposes. And John is not alone. For many people blog is a big business. I read somethere, that Engadget make more than $100,000 per month. Youare probably agree with me, that these people don’t have any financial problems. 🙂

Everyone of us have different views, but the are all the same, because blogging join us. Let’s create blogs, promote them and enjoy this process, because it gives us a big opportunities in our lifes.

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There are many factors that make blogs much better than normal WebPages including the speed at which blogs are indexed, ability to submit to blog directories & normal directories, pings and track backs. All these little things can help drive more traffic to blogs. Here are 15 popular techniques you can use:

1.) Create at least four keyword posts per day. Most of the top blogs such as Boing Boing, Daily Kos, and Instapundit (with literally tens of thousands of visitors per day) publish an average of 30 small 100-150 word posts per day according to “Secrets of the A-list Bloggers: Lots of Short Posts” by http://TNL.net

2.) Submit to My Yahoo! When you submit your own RSS to My Yahoo it is indexed by Yahoo.

3.) Submit to Google’s Reader. When you submit your own blog RSS to Google’s Reader the Google Blog Search will index your site.

4.) Add a relevant link directory to your blog and trade links like a demon possessed! Although it may take more time than simply submitting to a search engine one time, this method is perhaps the best way to drive traffic to your site. Use software such as Zeus to speed up the link trading process.

5.) Use ping sites like ping-o-matic. Ping your site every time you add a new post.

6.) Submit your blog to traditional search engines such as AltaVista, and MSN.

7.) Submit your blog to traditional directories such as DMOZ. Directories (particularly DMOZ) increase relevance with Google. DMOZ is very picky, but what do you have to lose by trying?

8.) Submit to as many RSS Directories and Search Engines as possible. This is a simple but repetitive process that can be done with software such as RSS SUBMIT.

9.) Comment on other blogs. Do not just leave short, lazy comments like “I agree.” Leave well thought out replies that will force readers to wonder “who wrote this?”

10.) Use track backs. If there is a blog that you refer to or quote and it is highly relevant to your subject, leave a track back. It increases your link popularity and may even score a few interested readers from the linked site.

11.) Go offline. Use newspaper ads, public bulletin boards, business cards, even stickers to let as many people as possible know your blog exists.

12.) Ad a link to your blog in your e-mail signature block.

13.) Use Groups (Usenet). Find a relevant group on Google groups, Yahoo groups, MSN groups or any of the thousands of other FREE group services and find like minded people and talk with them. Make sure your use your blog URL like it is your name.

14.) Use Forums. Forums are one of the best places to go for advice. Go to forums and find problems to solve. Make sure you leave your blog name, but be tactful about it; some forums get annoyed with those who selfishly drop a few links to their own site and leave.

15.) Tag your website. Tagging is a new idea that has erupted across the web. Sites like http://Del.icio.us, Technorati and many others have a social feature that allows you to place your article under keywords or “tags” that everyone interested in that tag can see.

Although these are some of the most popular ways to drive traffic to your blog, do not limit your self to tips and lists. Use your imagination and you will come up with thousands of ways to drive traffic to your blog!

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1. Participate in the blogosphere: Read and comment on other blogs in your field. This is a prime way to build readership of your blog. It is also a way of getting fresh content for both your blog and for your book.

To check out other blogs in your niche: use www.blogsearch.google.com, www.technorati.com, or www.google.com.

This is also a good way to get ideas. What are other people in your field writing about? What are the major challenges of the people in your field? If you have competitors, check them out. They may be a great help in inspiring you for content ideas, different slants and perspectives. The old song, “Anything you can do, I can do better,” comes to mind.

2. Ask readers to comment on your blog. In fact, each time you post something, ask them a question. Then spell it out to them on how to post a comment because your readers will probably need to be educated or at least encouraged to comment. (“Click on the comment link in the footer of this post, and leave your responses.”)

Sometimes readers will need assurances of privacy, in which case, you can ask them to email you their questions or comments in private. Others are not worried about privacy because after all, a blog isn’t meant to be private. However, readers can be shy about commenting, and need encouragement.

You may also encourage them to respond by telling them that you would like to use their replies in your book, but will only do so with their permission.

3. Survey your readers, do a mini-study on their preferences, their experiences, etc. The Internet is the fastest way to acquire some statistics of readers’ preferences. Far from being a scientifically validated study that would pass muster in universities with academicians, an informal survey can give you ideas and material to write about. It can also confirm that you are addressing the concerns of your readers.

4. Run a contest for the best idea, funniest experience, most influential or heart-grabbing situation. If you want to use these readers’ responses for content in your book, you should tell them. Many people jump at the chance to be included in a book. Others may prefer to participate anonymously. You can give them both options.

Here’s an example of how one writer asked his readers for input:

Do You Have A Broken WIndows Story?
Michael Levine’s new book, Broken WIndows, Broken Business is being released later this month. Many people feel this is going to be a mega best-seller.

We have set up a website, where you can rant about broken windows in your everyday experience… Check it out at BrokenWindows.com.

People love to share their experiences, and they love to rant, or rave. Just ask.

5. Ask your readers to attend a teleseminar based on the needs, challenges, concepts and ideas of your blog readers. This is a great way to go deeper into the problems and solutions you are writing about. You can record the sessions, transcribe the dialogue, convert the teleseminar to audio and PDF files. These can be sold, or given away as marketing materials for your book.

6. Use your blog site meter stats to examine what are the most popular articles posted. This information will guide you to expand on the topics and subtopics that capture the interests of readers.

7. Consistently reconnect with your passion, and ignite and inspire others with similar interests. After you’ve been blogging for awhile, you will probably develop good blogging habits:

a. Write something on your blog daily, or at least 2-3 times a week.

b. Read other blogs 2-3 times a week. Be sure to use the My Yahoo or other RSS feed buttons to subscribe to your favorite blogs, or sign up to get email updates through a FeedBlitz service on each blog.

c. Write with your readers in mind. And if you’re not sure where their interests lie, ask them. If they’ve found your blog, and have subscribed, chances are you share a lot in common.

d. If you ever fall into blog-block, reconnect with your core purpose for the blog (remember, the one you wrote out before starting your blog?). When this happens there is usually a reason, although it may not be clear to you at the time. This will pass. You can help it along by asking questions – of your readers, yourself, your closest allies.

8. Podcasting – Create audio files easily by scheduling teleclasses and recording them. Some people like to get their information auditorily and at their convenience by downloading mp3 files to their iPods.

Use a free teleconferencing bridge line like http://www.freeconference.com to host a call. Record your call, upload the audio file and then post to your blog or podcast using a service like http://www.audioblog.com.

As an added benefit, you can get these calls transcribed; then convert the word doc to a PDF file which you can either give away, or sell, in exchange for people’s email address; http://www.CastingWords.com is a fast, affordable transcription service.

0

Many people have started using Google’s AdSense program to make cash on their blogs, but there are some who find it a bit too uncertain or simply not suiting their own requirements from an ad program.

But thankfully for such people, there are many alternatives to AdSense to help make you cash from your blog that attempt to alleviate some of the Adsense shortcomings. Here is a list of the most noteworthy ones from the lot with a description concerning each one.

AllFeeds (http://www.allfeeds.com/?action=publishers)
AllFeeds has a great pool of online advertisers to choose from to place on your blog. It also features many display formats that you can choose from. These include banners, buttons, XML feeds, DHTML pop-ups and so on. It also features real time reporting of your ad status. The site will mail a check every month, provided that you earn more then $25.00, while rolling over earnings for the next month if you don’t. Another interesting thing about AllFeeds is that it integrates with Google AdSense, maximizing your earnings with AdSense.

MarketBanker (http://www.marketbanker.com/mb/sell.php)
MarketBanker allows you the unique possibility to set the pricing for your blog. It also allows you to allow or reject any link that appears on your site (although AdSense itself does a very good job of this as well, with URL filters) There’s also a statistics section which will allow you to see how well your site is doing. The ads are small just like AdSense’s and they’re just as easy to set up. Also, registration for MarketBanker is free.

BidClix ( http://www.bidclix.com/PubTop.html)
BidClix is different because it has advertisers compete for clicks on your blog, which in turn is meant to generate the highest possible profits for your blogs pages. It also has a very large pool of advertisers which ensure there are plenty of people to choose your site. However, it does require more polish on site contents then AdSense. As most sites, real time statistics are available and its very easy to get started with this service, but it’s also very flexible.

Chitika (http://www.realcontext.com/index.php?option=RealContext:+Contextual+Targeting+Engine)
RealContext uses Artificial intelligence to retrieve the most relevant ads for your page. And there’s an extra feature which makes RealContext unique as well. Keywords are selected based upon which previous selections paid off and which didn’t. That means there’s a constant feedback process that ensures you gain better revenue from your ads. It also supports blocking certain adds and child-safe filtering and many more options.

AdHearus (http://adhearus.com/webmaster.php)
AdHearus is a very feature-packed contextual ad provider. As with AdSense, advertisements are targeted but it doesn’t stop here at all. The ads are very flexible, you can select from text-ads, banners, rectangles, pop-ups, pop-unders or skyscrapers. You can also display your own ads, through rotation, both on your site and on other affiliate sites, which makes AdHearus a hybrid with conventional advertising technologies. There’s a very comprehensive on-line real time reporting feature and, as usual with such services, starting out is free and it’s a breeze.

AffiliateSensor (http://www.affiliatesensor.com/)
AffiliateSensor has highly customizable ad blocks, which you can make for yourself with an easy to use on-line interface. You also get realtime reporting with clicks-by-domain, page and referrer. There’s integration with Google AdSense as well, through the google_alternate_ad_url so AffiliateSensor can be used as a substitute for Google PSA’s (Public Service Ads).

Kanoodle Bright Ads (http://www.kanoodle.com/about/brightads.cool)
Kanoodle’s offering allows publishers to get ads related to topics or segments, and not the traditional keyword oriented ads. The site also groups publisher sites with advertisers by hand to ensure high-revenue generating ads. And speaking of revenue, the amount of money you receive is a clear 50% share of the amount of money Kanoodle receives for an advertiser.

TargetPoint (http://publisher.targetpoint.com)
TargetPoint is oriented more towards content publishers. It offers full control over the look the ads, statistics over your site’s overall performance and better revenue. It’s free to register and you earn a guaranteed 60% of the total revenue. You can get paid with Paypal of Bank checks and (most times) wire transfers as well.

Clicksor (http://www.clicksor.com)
Clicksor will earn you as much as 60% from the amount of money your website produces. What you get is about the same as AdSense, there are targeted text ads, you can view the revenues from your website in real time. You can receive money via PayPal or through a check every two weeks, provided that you have earned more then $50. If you haven’t made that much, your earning roll over to the next period

0

You know all that extra time you have to work on Search Engine Optimization? [A little sarcasm there] Actually, I tried to put together a list of quick things you can do that will help you move a little higher in your Google or Yahoo results.

1. Get listed in more search engines. There are tons of them out there. There are also many free services that will help you get listed. Or just set aside some time to get it done yourself. Here is a free search engine submission site that will let you cycle through the top 100 search engines and get your site submitted.

2. Get listed in more directories. Again, there are a lot of them out there. Look for higher pagerank directories. Improvingrank.com has some listed by pagerank. Look on the left side of the homepage.

3. Clean up your html and check your links. You want the bots to have smooth sailing through your site. Use the tools on W3c.org and have a real person check them over too.

4. Get a few more links to your site. Make them relevant and at least the same pagerank as you.

5. Make your page filenames descriptive and keyword rich. Naming your page new_page_1.html is wasting an opportunity to do some SEO. Use names that describe the content and keep the keywords flowing.

6. Check your Title tags. You can use 90 – 100 characters in the title, so add some keywords. We know Google looks at them, and so do many more search engines.

7. Check your ALT tags. Searchbots can’t see pictures. Make sure you have ALT tags on all of your pictures, and make sure they are descriptive and keyword rich.

8. Rewrite your URL (anchor) tags. Good anchor tags (the text between the http: and /a tags) reinforce the message and key words of your site.

9. Go post in a few forums and put your website in your signature. Forums are a great place to put one way links. And you can help somebody out at the same time.

10. Put together a text based sitemap and put it on your site. There’s a lot of navigation that spiders can’t understand, such as flash, forms, java and javascript. Putting together a text-based sitemap gives the bots a way to navigate around the site.

Fifteen minutes every couple of days will make a huge difference in getting your rank higher.

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