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Blog Business World

Blogs in business, marketing, public relations, and SEO search engine optimization for successful entrepreneurs

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

 

Carnival of the Dogs

For a change of pace from the ordinary, blog Carnival goers might want to drop by Mickey's Musings, for his hosting of Carnival of the Dogs.

I hear hear Mickey's bark is worse than his bite, but it's hard to tell from the growls!

In any case, you can stay out of Mickey's doghouse, if you stop by Carnival of the Dogs.

Hey, it's supposed to be a dog eat dog world out there.

So everyone tells me, anyway!

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Directory and RSS submission list

Submitting your blog and your RSS and Atom feeds, to the various blog directories and news feed aggregators, is a great thing for you to do in your spare time.

Robin Good of Master New Media has created an extremely comprehensive list of directories for your blog and RSS submissions.

Robin has done all of the hard work compiling the list, so you won't have to!

There are some new directories on the list that are new to me.

Inclusion in the various blog directories will get you a few extra visitors. I get a few new directory sent visitors, every single day.

Be sure to bookmark the directory list page.

You will need to return over and over again, just to work your way through all of the submissions.

I have the page saved, so I can check which directories that I have missed.

So should you.

Happy submissions.



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Monday, August 30, 2004

 

Carnival of the Capitalists and all that jazz

Talk about jazz!

Well, get ready for the coolest riffs in the blogosphere as the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists, has a jazz festival theme this week.

The music is sweet at the always well researched business and technology, and very jazzed up New Dog Old Trick.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists features some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include venture capital, management, legal issues, taxation, the Olympics, immigration policy, lots of politics in general, the national and global economies, and as you would expect from New Dog Old Trick, there are business and technological postings everywhere.

As an added bonus this week, there are many newer contributors to New Dog Old Trick jazz extravaganza, along with many of the regulars you have already met.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere. We don't always get to them all, and this edition of Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced us to some brand new ones.

As I am always privileged to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

My entry post this week is entitled "Beware of bad SEO advice", where I remind you that not all available search engine advice is equally valid.

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to:

capitalists -at- elhide.com

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog.The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. The readership is enlarging, and finding entirely new visitors, every single week.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore.

Readership is expanding to include the mainstream media, various government and private organizations, many businesses, and other interested people from beyond the blogging community.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists will be at the great political and technology blog, Joe Grossberg.

In the meantime, join the festival and listen to the jazz, at this week's New Dog Old Trick hosted Carnival of the Capitalists.

You won't want to miss reading any of this week's tremendous entries.

We can all gain a vast amount of knowledge from the many informative and interesting contributors.

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Controversial money making ideas for your blog

There are many ways to make cash from blogging.

The problem is many blog money making ideas don't pay much.

If you want to go blogging for dollars, you will probably have to play in the big leagues.

Let's talk about controversial blg money makers. I am going to discuss some ideas here that some people might not approve. Let's just say they are for discussion purposes only...

Many bloggers aren't willing to "sell out", as the saying goes, to large business interests. That is their right and their perogative.

Not everyone wants to make money from blogging. Perhaps, not everyone even could, if they wanted to.

One technique for blog revenue is product endorsements. Write favourable comments about products in your blog; perhaps even including them merely in passing. A link to the company website would be part of the package.

Example: I washed my car today. I used Brand X Car Wax, as usual. The car looked great. Of course, it rained ten minutes after I completed the waxing, ruining the gorgeous effect. Oh well.

A more direct product endorsement would arise from using, reviewing, and recommending Brand X to your customers.

Movies use product placement, in many of their scenes, as a means of generating revenue. The camera pans around, and then stops briefly, over the placed product brand name and logo. In return for those brief moments, the movie company gets paid, by the product manufacturer. The appearance of Brand X in the movie, and used by the stars, forms a nice implied endorsement for the product.

Bloggers could do much the same thing.

As with the car wax example, the product would be mentioned favourably by the blogger. A link back to the manufacturer or distributor would complete the cycle.

Endorsements and product placements might not be right thing for everyone. All bloggers have different opinions as to business, advertising, and product promotions. That is natural.

On the other hand, many bloggers would be very happy and willing, to endorse fee paying companies and their products, on their blogs.

It's a form of making money, from your blog, that is worth at least receiving some consideration.

As with all ideas of blog revenue creation, product endorsement and placement on blogs are still in their infancy.

Of course, that could be said of every form of blogging income, when you think about it.

Monetize your blog.

It's on the cutting edge of blogging!







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Saturday, August 28, 2004

 

Blogging milestones and anniversaries

As blogs become more and more a part of the mainstream, blogging milestones will continue to make an appearance at an accelerating pace.

Blogiversaries are rapidly becoming the norm, and not the exception.

For example, Jennifer at the highly regarded cultural and political blog Drink This... just celebrated her first blogging anniversary...sorry... blogiversary.

Way to go, Jennifer!

As blogs mature, more and more blogs will pass their first, their second, their third, and even their fourth blogiversary.

This year!

Martin Lindeskog of the high quality political and economics blog, EGO, has just passed the 1000 post mark.

Martin has already got a flying start on his second 1000 posts.

I'm looking forward to reading them too.

Raise a glass to every blogging milestone and blogiversary.

You are on the cutting edge of personal communication and publishing.

I'll toast to that!

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Going to the Carnivals

The blogging Carnivals.

Long time readers of this blog know that I am a supporter of the various internet blogging Carnivals.

They are a terrific way to show your best blogging work to much wider audience. As you participate in the Carnivals, your blog is visited by people who would probably miss you otherwise.

The opportunity to participate in, and perhaps even host a Carnival, should be taken seriously by bloggers.

The first step of course, is to send a post to the host, of the Carnival of your choice.

As you become more comfortable with the format, and are willing to accept the work involved, perhaps a hosting is in your future.

I won't kid you. Hosting a Carnival is a heap of work. No one ever said it was easy to be a roustabout. On the other hand, the feeling of accomplishment and of helping other bloggers, makes it all worth while.

I have participated as a contributor to four Carnivals.

Carnival of the Capitalists

Carnival of the Canucks

BestOfMeSymphony

Carnival of the Vanities

I was also privileged to host an edition of Carnival of the Capitalists.

There are many other exotic, and always interesting blogging events, in the blogosphere as well.

They include (links via Accidental Verbosity and Silflay Hraka):

Bonfire of the Vanities

The Kissing Booth

The Carnival of the Cats

Carnival of The Consumers

The Tangled Bank

The Carnival of The Liberated

The Christian Carnival

The Philosopher's Carnival

The Carnival of the Recipes

The Carnival of the Dogs

It's obvious that a Carnival for every taste and blogging interest is available.

Run away and join a blogging Carnival today.



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Thursday, August 26, 2004

 

Professional blogging as a career choice

My friend Trudy Schuett of WOLves has a goal.

She wants to become a professional blogger.

In a three part series at About.com's Weblog section, Trudy has a three part series on her quest to become a professional blogger.

For those of you unfamiliar with what About.com offers, in the way of blogging information and advice, you will be very pleasantly surprised. There is a ton of blogging knowledge there, just waiting to be applied to your own blog.

The About.com Weblogs guide, Sheila Anne (Shai) Coggins is very knowledgeable about blogging. She is also very friendly and approachable, and more than willing to help bloggers, in every way possible.

For those wishing to follow Trudy Shuett's journey, toward becoming a professional blogger, be sure to visit her three part series:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Trudy will be adding more posts on the topic, I'm sure.

Having discussed the topic of professional blogging with Trudy, I'm certain she will be successful in achieving her goal.

Trudy defines professional blogging as "someone who maintains a blog for a company".

I'm sure professional blogging has an unlimited potential as a career path for writers.

I'm also very positive that Trudy Schuett will be the very first professional blogger.

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Carnival of the Vanities reaches EGO

The oldest and perhaps largest of the internet blog Carnivals set up shop at Martin Lindeskog's great economics and political blog EGO.

Carnival of the Vanities features some of the finest bloggers, from every type of blog, found anywhere.

Carnival of the Vanities is the one that was parent to an entire family of Carnival children.

This edition of the venerable Carnival of the Vanities includes posts on some rather esoteric sounding topics. Included are ideas on education, ethics, politics, economics, history, psychology, art, and some eclectic posts that defy classification. That's a very good thing.

I was privileged to include a post, in the EGO hosted Carnival of the Vanities, this week.

My post on "Creating businesses with bloggers" became one of this week's selected articles.

Next week's Carnival of the Vanities will be found at the highly eclectic Blogo Slovo.

In the meantime, surf on over to EGO, and read the great posts on offer at Carnival of the Vanities.

As usual, I learned a heap of new information.



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Blogs lead to business and jobs

You've heard the old phrase, "follow the money".

That money may be following the road to blogs and the pockets of bloggers.

While the concept of getting money from blogs and blogging is still in its infancy, it's starting to happen.

I know that from personal experience.

People are contacting me for assistance in matters of blogging and search engine optimization.

Okay, you say, what's so new about that?

Well, they are contacting me as a result of my blogs.

Talk about passive advertising, by simply maintaining a blog presence, on the internet!

Some of those seeking help arrived from my roller derby blog, Wayne's Derby World. The majority have found me through Blog Business World.

The important fact is bloggers get discovered.

Discovery leads to business and financial opportunities.

The financial rewards will flow to bloggers sooner, rather than later.

We've only just found the very edge of the tip of the iceberg. Over time, many business ventures and employment offers will arrive as a direct result of blogging.

That day is not very far away.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

 

Beware of bad SEO advice

Inaccurate and unreliable search engine optimization (SEO) advice is available with alarming regularity, it seems. You can find it almost everywhere you look on the internet.

Bad advice lurks in your e-mail as spam from shady fly by night companies calling themselves SEOs. Suggestions on improving your website’s position, found in the various internet message forums, ranges from tremendously helpful to downright terrible.

There are articles on SEO, widely read and believed, that offer not only questionable opinions, but are riddled with factual errors. Self styled SEO experts can be found on their websites, waiting to ensnare the unwary.

Following such dubious advice, some novice website owners could make some terrible errors, that could drop their website’s placement in the search engine rankings. Some of the advice can even get a website banned from the search engines, for violation of their webmaster guidelines.

Webmasters unknowingly read and hear bad SEO advice on a constant basis. Often, the advice is packaged in a fairly well written format, and carries a fairly authoritative tone. What many website owners don’t know, is how to select the solid and useful recommendations, from the concepts best ignored at any cost.

The internet in general, and search engine optimization in particular, are still very young in terms of years in existence. The idea, that SEO can even make a difference, to a website’s ranking in the search engines, is a concept still very much in its infancy.

The opportunity for the internet version of snake oil salespeople, and for outright charlatans, is certainly very high. The lack of peer review of information, creates an ideal environment, for both the dishonest huckster and the simply incompetent advisor.

The best defence for any website owner is to read carefully, and weigh the pros and cons of all advice on offer, prior to taking any drastic action.

Whether the advice arrives from self styled experts, message forums, e-mail newsletters, or from a search result, it’s important for the website owner to be very cautious. While not all SEO advice is bad, there is much that needs to be taken with an entire shaker of the proverbial salt.

Search engine optimization advice is certainly a webmaster beware system.




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Monday, August 23, 2004

 

Carnival of the Capitalists at The Mobile Technology Weblog

The travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists, has set up the event at the always well researched, informative, and technologically focused The Mobile Technology Weblog.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists features some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include venture capital, locating books, legal issues, taxation, health care, lots of politics, the national and global economies, and as you would expect from The Mobile Technology Weblog, there are technological postings everywhere.

As an added bonus this week, there are many newer contributors to The Mobile Technology Weblog, along with many of the regulars you have already met.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere. We don't always get to them all, and this week's Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced us to some brand new ones.

As I am always honoured to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well. My entry post this week is entitled "Followup posts: Whatever happened to..."

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to:

capitalists -at- elhide.com

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog.

The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. The readership is enlarging, and finding entirely new visitors, every single week.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore.

Readership is expanding to include the mainstream media, various government and private organizations, many businesses, and other interested people from beyond the blogging community.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists will be at the great business and technology blog, with the cool name, of New Dog Old Trick.

In the meantime, take a tour of this week's The Mobile Technology Weblog hosted Carnival of the Capitalists.

You won't want to miss reading any of this week's tremendous entries.

We can all gain a tremendous amount of knowledge from the many informative and interesting contributors.

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Who are your readers?

Do you know who reads your blog?

For that matter, do you even care?

Just as long as it's someone besides your immediate friends and family, whom you coerced into reading your blog, entirely against their will.

There are a few ways to find out your readership.

The first and most obvious technique is to use a web visitor counter. The reports, provided my the majority of the free counters, give you some solid information on your readership.

It's good to know who arrived from searches for various keywords that led to your site. You've already placed the idea in the back of your mind to write more posts on that topic.

It's not always an exercise in ego and narcissism to know who is visiting your blog.

Often, the type of readers your blog attracts can help you to provide more of what your visitors actually want to read. If looked at in that light, a visitor counter is not all about the blogger, but is focused toward the readers.

It's always interesting to find out which blogs, that link to yours, are sending visitors to read what you have written. It's always nice to share visitors with other friends in the blogging community.

I am always excited to find out that my readers have visited other blogs and sites that I have linked. That is the reason for the links. They are there to be clicked and perhaps some new blogs discovered.

I suppose I am just helpful by nature.

After all, I like to see other people achieve success in their endeavours.

If we all work to help one another do well, we all win in the end.

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Saturday, August 21, 2004

 

Blogging survey from the UK

For those wishing to express their opinions on blogs in general, and business blogs in particular, be sure to surf over to the latest survey of that type.

A student at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom has started a blogging survey.

The information is:

an online survey which is concerned with the use of weblogs especially in
internal / external communication building; knowledge / project management,
customer services etc. The survey is to analyze the psychological factors of
bloggers and visitors.


For regular visitors, and for non bloggers, there is an alternative survey.

The survey only takes a couple of minutes to complete.

I took it myself, and it was simple and painless.

The results should be available at the end of October of this year.

Be sure to help expand the knowledge of blogging by participating in the survey.








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Friday, August 20, 2004

 

Finetuning series continues at A Penny For...

After a few days hiatus, Todd at the insightful A Penny For... has resumed his Finetuning series on blogging.

Readers are asked to provide their input into various aspects of blogging.

So far, Todd has received some great responses, to his queries, on all things blog related.

The first, of his two most recent questions, focuses on what is the ideal length for a blog post.

The second investigation asks what sort of post topic generates the most reader response.

Be sure to head over to A Penny For... and give Todd your two cents worth.

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Blogging series available again

One of the best series on blogging, written by Trudy Schuett of WOLves, is available once again.

This must read article trilogy, called "Why Writers Hate Blogs" had suffered what Trudy referred to as "link rot". Whatever the reason, the sage advice was no longer there to be read, and applied to your blog.

Now it's back.

Don't miss "Why Writers Hate Blogs Part I" and "Why Writers Hate Blogs Part II" and "Why Writers Hate Blogs Part III".

The information supplied is helpful to all bloggers.

It's also ideal for writers too!

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Irritants in blogging

I wasn't able to blog yesterday.

Now I know blogging is truly an addiction.

I missed actually writing my daily column. Of course, some of you might consider that a blessing. I'm hoping that a few more people were looking for a post.

Due to a problem with my internet service provider, I was unable to log onto the internet. I kept getting some message about not being able to connect.

Hey, I can understand their concerns about connections with others. I really do. I only was concerned about one thing at that moment, however.

Just connect to me!

In any case, I was mildly...okay a lot...irritated.

After several long hours of bitter struggle and extreme disappointment, I got logged onto the internet.

This morning.

My reward for such extreme patience, above and beyond the call of duty? My computer froze in the middle of a post composition.

Good thing I was only three quarters completed, or I would have been a trifle upset.

I am just too easy going for computer problems like that.

Better to leap into a rage and grab a baseball bat, or better yet, an axe.

Oh for the glories of smashing the computer, into so many pieces, that a person could build a star chart from the remains.

Alas, it was not to be.

I rebooted, and wrote this post instead.



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Thursday, August 19, 2004

 

Followup blog posts: Whatever happened to...

Followup posts.

Writing a blog post that continues a previous, but often unfinished idea, provides a number of real and very tangible benefits.

Returning to a previous ongoing controversy or concept, provides a useful and interesting source, of blog post ideas. Often your longer term readership will appreciate finding out more information on an idea previously presented in your blog.

Followup posts are ideal for political, legal, and sports blogs. Each those blog categories is ideally suited to continuing column ideas. Most readers will be very intrigued as to how the initial case, policy, or game under discussion was resolved.

For personal bloggers, ongoing postings are part of the reason for the blog in the first place. The ongoing daily life of the blogger is a continuing saga in and of itself. Following up on some previous event in the blogger's life flows naturally in personal blogs.

Business bloggers can create an ongoing series of posts, revolving around one business oriented topic. Later, as new ideas are formulated, the blogger can return to the previous series, and the accompanying reader comments, and renew the discussion. By picking up an older post concept, the idea can often be developed further, to the benefit of all.

When referring to a previous post, be sure to link to that column directly. Place a live link, using the post permalink, directly within the new post. Make certain the link appears early in the discussion, so readers unfamiliar with the previous posting can get up to speed on the ideas presented.

While it's not considered by some bloggers to be a proper policy, linking to your previous post is a courtesy in this instance. It's not quite the same thing as linking to your own post in support of your own argument.

In this case, it's simply providing background information for new visitors to your blog. Having everyone familiar, with the previous post or posts on the subject, helps to further the discussion.

Following up previous posts also provides a sense of completion for previous ideas. A concept isn't simply thrown out on the blog, and left hanging, and unresolved. Returning to an as yet uncompleted thought process, can lead to new and exciting discoveries about the idea.

Sometimes, the readers simply want to know how the story turned out in the end.

Looking back to some previous posts, occasionally left unresolved, provides a wealth of blog posting ideas.

They are not only helpful to you as a blogger, but they are often of tremendous interest to your readers as well.

Follow up those old posts, and see where they lead.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

 

More blog shark jumping

A few days ago, I posted a column about how blogs can jump the shark.

The term, "jump the shark" is from discussion of television shows. When a show begins to go downhill, and loses its ratings and even its plot direction, it's said to have jumped the shark.

The entire concept has its own website.

Pamela Heywood, at Online Business Journal has expressed an interest in the topic as well.

One thing that is interesting to me, is blogs are now entrenched enough in the mainstream, to have had some shark jumps already.

In fact, having been in existence long enough for a blog to begin, develop a readership, peak, and decline is a sign that blogs are starting to mature as a medium.

Jumping the shark means to already experienced some major successes.

Of course, like television and the other mass and specialty media, blogs will continue to evolve over time.

In much the same way as television shows have identifiable categories, widely recognized as leading to decline, so too will blogs.

We will soon be able to spot the warning signs of an imminent decline for any blog. With early diagnosis, we can apply some timely shark repellant, warding off the jump.

By understanding that blogs potentially have a life cycle, and whose useful time might in fact be finite, we can act accordingly.

Like Kim, formerly of the former G Spot, and now of Bacon and Eh's, spotting a possible shark jump can prevent a blogger losing an audience.

Since we've already seen that blogs can decline and fall, we know that blogs are becoming part of the mainstream.

It's only a matter of time before a website records how blogs have jumped the shark.

Using an appropriate blog-centric term, of course.





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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

 

Carnival of the Capitalists at The Frozen North

The travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists, has set up the event at the always thoughtful and lively, and mainly politically oriented Dispatches From the Frozen North.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists features some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include venture capital, internet technology and e-commerce, legal issues, taxation, the national and international economies, and as you would expect from Dispatches From the Frozen North, there are political and eclectic postings everywhere.

As an added bonus this week, there are many newer contributors to the Dispatches From the Frozen North Carnival, along with many of the regulars you have already met.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere. We don't always get to them all, and this week's Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced us to some brand new ones.

As I am always honoured to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well. My entry post this week is entitled "Search Engines: Keeping them all happy".

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to

:capitalists -at- elhide.com

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog. The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. The readership is enlarging, and finding entirely new visitors, every single week.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore!

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists will be at Russell's tremendous technology blog called, appropriately enough, The Mobile Technology Weblog.

In the meantime, take a tour of this week's Dispatches From the Frozen North hosted Carnival of the Capitalists.

You won't want to miss reading any of this week's tremendous entries.

We can all gain a tremendous amount of knowledge from the many informative and interesting contributors.

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Monday, August 16, 2004

 

Blogger helps victims of Hurricane Charley

Bloggers are known for helping others in times of need.

My friend John Mudd of Inside Real Estate Journal is doing his share.

John is asking your help for those, who tragically lost their homes and possessions, in Florida's devestating Hurricane Charley.

John has created a way to help those Floridians in need through his website:

http://www.HomeInTampaBay.com

To offer your assistance, click on the link to the website. When you reach the site, you will see a flashing notice providing a choice of volunteering in person, or providing donations.

Both individuals and groups are requested to help in any way that they can, in this time of need.

Be sure to help John Mudd, to help those survivors, who Hurricane Charley left tragically homeless and without personal belongings.

It's another case of bloggers helping, not only bloggers, but everyone.



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Sunday, August 15, 2004

 

Can a blog "jump the shark"?

Jump the shark.

You've probably heard the phrase, but you might not be quite sure where it originated.

The term is from an extremely comprehensive website about current and past television shows. The object is to find out precisely the moment when a good television show went down hill.

Jumping the shark can happen in two general ways.

The first method, is when a show has peaked at it's greatest episode ever. It may have topped the ratings, or had some highly pivotal episode as part the plotline. In any case, that lofty level was never achieved again

The other way to jump the shark, is if your favourite show had one of a laundry list of imagined or profound program changes. The alterations could be in character and cast changes, or even a major switching of plot emphasis.

Once that magical or not so happy change occurs, the television show is said to have jumped the shark. The show will begin the slippery slope to eventual cancellation as a result.

The shark will have claimed another victim.

The question then, is whether a blog can also jump the shark.

Perhaps, more to the point, is can your own blog take the dreaded jump.

How a good and often highly popular blog can go into decline, is the question.

There are several ways the dreaded day can arrive to claim the blogger's efforts for oblivion.

One method, is to simply stop posting. A blog, that is never again updated and abandoned, is certain to lose its readers. That is inevitable. A new blog is only one single mouse click away.

A second shark jump can occur insidiously. The number of posts starts heavily. There may be two or more per day, during the initial heady days of establishing the blog. That flourish eventually turns to barely two posts per week. The rest is usually referred to as history.

Changing a blog's focus can cause a jump. A popular sports blog can decide to become political, or a political blog decides to join the ranks of a personal journal. Any such migration of blogging genres can result in a sleigh ride to the bottom of the blogging hill.

Lowering the quality of posts can cause a shark to begin circling your blog very quickly. A series of very weak posts, much below the expected calibre, and the readership will drift away. Keeping the quality of postings high, keeps the sharks out of the water.

Don't let your blog become a casualty of having jumped the shark.

Leave that problem to the television programs.

Don't let your blog become a shark's meal.





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Saturday, August 14, 2004

 

Blogging milestones: Achieving the stats

Blogging milestones.

There are many types of achievements in blogging.

One of the most important, but not often given the attention it deserves, is reaching a visitor traffic milestone.

Many bloggers are self conscious about their visitor traffic. Some bloggers even avoid having a visitor counter for their blogs entirely.

One of the reasons, often given, is the blog is for their own use, and if someone else reads it, fine. If not, that's still okay. They feel no need to become slaves to their visitor totals.

While ego may drive many bloggers, to read their visitor counter statistics thirty times per day, self importance isn't the only reason for a visitor counter.

For one thing, knowing your visitor count lets you know if your posts are interesting to your readers.

For example, if you are running a special series, and your visitor numbers rise dramatically, you know that the posts struck a chord with your audience. You will know that your readers like the series topic. Perhaps the concept of a group of interrelated posts is intriguing to many visitors as well.

Your visitor counter will often tell you the most important keywords and phrases that helped people find your blog in a search.

The major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search are tremendous sources of new readers. If they are searching for certain topics, that are within the theme of your blog, you have an entirely new source of popular posting ideas, free for the taking.

After that rather lengthy preamble, I have finally reached the point of this post. I'm sure you were wondering that yourself.

Will he ever get the point of this digression that never really had a starting location from which to digress.

Well, fear not, we are there.

Finally.

Two of the finest blogs, in the entire blogosphere, reached very important visitor traffic milestones this week.

While the numbers are entirely different, their value for each blogger and their loyal readership, can't be denied.

Jennifer of the always entertaining and informative Drink This... reached the 100,000 hit level this past week.

You may disagree with some of Jennifer's opinions, on political and cultural issues, but there is no denying her honesty and high quality of character.

Jennifer is a first rate blogger.

Combining top notch posts with handy links, with her always winning and charming personality, you have the recipe for a great way to Drink This...

Congratulations on counting the drinkers of this...

Also achieving a monumental level of visitors this week, was my buddy Jeremy Wright of Ensight.

Hold onto your hats and everything else.

Jeremy has just passed the unbelievable 4 million visitor barrier at Ensight.

Using the powerful blogging idea, of infusing his personality into his always interesting multiple daily posts, Jeremy has captured an enormous audience.

Way to go Jeremy. You gave yourself a tough act to follow.

Just kidding, Jeremy!

Note that in both high achieving blogs runs a common theme.

Jennifer at Drink This... and Jeremy at Ensight write interesting and informative posts. They also let their personalities and personal thoughts and values flow freely throughout their blogs.

Because of that openess, both bloggers have regular and very loyal reading audiences.

Other bloggers would be well advised to apply those valuable principles to their own blogs.

Your visitor traffic will soar like Jennifer's and like Jeremy's.



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Friday, August 13, 2004

 

Insightful reasons for blogging: Ripples

Often, your friends and business associates will ask the inevitable question:

"Why do you write a blog and would it help their business to have a blog too".

That question is answered in very eloquently, by one of the finest writers in blogging today.

My good friend David St. Lawrence of Ripples, provides one of the finest and most succinct sumaries of a blog's value, that I have ever seen anywhere.

In a beautifully written and wonderfully titled post called "Explaining blogs - lighting candles in the wind", David provides powerful theoretical and practical reasons for blogging.

David's sound advice on maintaining a visitor counter, and knowing your readership, is one I heartily endorse as well.

In fact, I agree completely with everything David wrote in the column.



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Thursday, August 12, 2004

 

A great new small business forum

I am a strong believer in message forums, as a way to develop a more diverse readership, for your blog.

I am also in favour of entrepreneurship, and forming your own business.

Thanks to my friend Bill Slawski, of the informative A Nasty Bit of Business, we can take care of business and be part of an internet community.

Bill recommends the Small Business Ideas Forum as a source of useful ideas and meeting some great business contacts. Bill is a member of the forum himself, so he is talking about a message board that he would not join himself.

You can't get a much better recommendation than that!

Following Bill's advice, I have already joined the forum. I will be making a first post very soon.

I recognize a number of the current membership by their names and nom de plume handles.

I know them to be very knowledgeble, helpful, and friendly people. I have met them from other discussion boards in the past.

Be sure to join the Small Business Ideas Forum today.

You never know what taking that all important first step could bring.





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Opinions on blogging sought

Have you ever wanted to provide your thoughts and ideas on blogging, at somewhere other than your own blog?

Todd, at the highly regarded A Penny For, has given you that unique opportunity. He is using his own blog as the venue as well.

This week, Todd is providing a user forum for comments on various aspects of blogging.

The series is called Fine Tuning.

In the first installment, Todd asks for your thoughts on the frequency of blog posts. The idea is to gain some insights into what number of weekly posts should be a resonable goal.

I contributed a response.

In the second installment of the series, the question was posed about how you link within your posts. There is some debate about where and how to use the phrase in the link. In any case, almost any sort of link text is better than simply writing "click here".

Todd is also looking for any other issues that may arise, as you link to another blog from within a post, as wll.

I responded to that question as well.

Todd has plans to turn the series into an e-book on blogging, upon completion. I look forward to seeing the results.

Be sure to surf over to A Penny For, and give Todd your ideas, on some very good and thought provoking questions.

After a reading of Todd's great blog, I'm sure you will become a regular visitor too.



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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

 

Testing the power of a blog meme

Testing Meme Propagation In Blogspace: Add Your Blog

This posting is a community experiment that tests how a meme, represented by this blog posting, spreads across blogspace, physical space and time. It will help to show how ideas travel across blogs in space and time and how blogs are connected.

It may also help to show which blogs (and aggregation sites) are most influential in the propagation of memes. The dataset from this experiment will be public, and can be located via Google (or Technorati) by doing a search for the GUID for this meme (below).

Please join the test by adding your blog (see instructions, below) and inviting your friends to participate—the more the better. The data from this test will be public and open; others may use it to visualize and study the connectedness of blogspace and the propagation of memes across blogs.

The GUID for this experiment is:

as098398298250swg9e98929872
525389t9987898tq98wteqtgaq62
010920352598gawst

(Be sure to enter it all as one complete word. It's broken here into three parts for publishing purposes.)

The above GUID enables anyone to easily search Google or other search engines for all blogs that participate in this experiment, once they have indexed the sites that participate, which may take several days or weeks. To locate the full data set, just search for any sites that contain this GUID.

Anyone is free to analyze the data of this experiment. Please publicize your analysis of the data, and/or any comments by adding comments onto the original post (see URL above). (Note: it would be interesting to see a geographic map or a temporal animation, as well as a social network map of the propagation of this meme.)

INSTRUCTIONS

To add your blog to this experiment, copy this entire posting to your blog, and then answer the questions below, substituting your own information, below, where appropriate. Other than answering the questions below, please do not alter the information, layout or format of this post in order to preserve the integrity of the data in this experiment (this will make it easier for searchers and automated bots to find and analyze the results later).

REQUIRED FIELDS

(Note: Replace the answers below with your own answers)

(1) I found this experiment at URL: Drink This...

(2) I found it via “Newsreader Software” or “Browsing the Web” or “Searching the Web” or “An E-Mail Message”: Browsing the Web.

(3) I posted this experiment at URL: Blog Business World

(4) I posted this on date (day/month/year): 08/10/04

(5) I posted this at time (24 hour time): 07:36

(6) My posting location is (city, state, country): Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

OPTIONAL SURVEY FIELDS:


(7) My blog is hosted by: Blogger

(8) My age is: above average

(9) My gender is: male

(10) My occupation is: freelance writing

(11) I use the following RSS/Atom reader software: Atom, bloglines, Feedster

(12) I use the following software to post to my blog: Blogger

(13) I have been blogging since (day, month, year): 29/03/2003

(14) My web browser is: Internet Explorer

(15) My operating systems are: Windows 98 (yeah I know)

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Monday, August 09, 2004

 

Carnival of the Capitalists at Poliblog

The travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists, has set up the event at Steven Taylor's always thoughtful and informative politically oriented Poliblog.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists features some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include writing, internet technology and e-commerce, legal issues, taxation, the national and international economies, and as you would expect from the Poliblog keyboard, there are political influences everywhere.

As an added bonus this week, there are many newer contributors to the Poliblog Carnival, along with many of the regulars you have already met.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere. We don't always get to them all, and this week's Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced us to some brand new ones.

As I am always honoured to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well. My entry post this week is entitled "Creating businesses with bloggers".

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to:

capitalists -at- elhide.com

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog. The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists will be at the multi-dimensional Dispatches From The Frozen North.

In the meantime, take a tour of this week's Poliblog hosted Carnival of the Capitalists.

You won't want to miss reading any of this week's tremendous entries.

We can all gain a tremendous amount of knowledge from the many informative and interesting contributors.

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Business ideas for bloggers of all ages

My recent series on bloggers and business startups has generated a heap of e-mail.

There is certainly heavy interest among bloggers in entrepreneurship. The major problem facing most of the people who e-mailed to me was one of business area.

Not everyone knows where to find business opportunities.

Locating that niche market to exploit is not always easy.

In fact, it might be extremely difficult to notice. That is especially true if the niche is right under the proverbial nose.

Without concern over specifics, bloggers are extremely well positioned for any business area that requires creativity. That includes writing, entertainment, and advertising to name only a few. Those three areas alone can be easily combined into some very powerful growth businesses.

Public relations and marketing are natural fields for bloggers. The talent of bloggers at networking and attracting visitors and links is obvious.

Since blogs are naturally search engine friendly, the entire field of search engine optimization might attract a bevy of bloggers.

The biggest obstacles facing bloggers are time and money.

It's certainly not expertise, as the blogosphere contains more than enough brain power to dominate several major industries.

Finding the time to operate a business isn't easy, but it can be done. In fact, a company that interests you will be so much fun to run, that many time wasting activities will be scrapped, in its favour. Of course, don't neglect your hobbies as they are important for balance in your life.

Getting the money to operate a business requires creativity.

Forget the traditional financial channels. It's time to go way off the grid and think of boot strap funding.

The great thing about careful money management, and financing as you go, is the business remains debt free. Self supporting businesses can survive economic downturns much more readily that those that are heavily leveraged.

Take a good look around you.

Those business opportunities and blogger partnerships are just sitting there.

They are waiting for you to reach out and grab them







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Sunday, August 08, 2004

 

It's a blog world after all

Many other bloggers, whose blogs you know and visit all of the time, read many of the same blogs.

There is nothing surprising about that tidbit.

What is unusual, is the out of the way blog, often discusses a subject never before associated with your blogging friend.

That is a fact.

In many ways, despite the stated 3,436,352 blogs indexed by Technorati, blogging is a collection of small communities. The way that blogs are linked together and refer to one another, shrinks that blogging universe, into a far more manageble society.

Within the giant metropolis of the blogosphere are many extremely diverse, yet quite closely knit neighbourhoods.

Within the various blogging subject areas, are hundreds of heavily overlapping communities of interest.

Business bloggers overlap into writing, economics, legal, and political blogs. Many bloggers within those areas branch out into sports, comedy, hobby, and personal blogs.

The chances of meeting and getting to know many diverse bloggers, from varying fields of expertise is virtually unlimited.

It's always fascinating to find a comment, on a previously unknown blog, by a blogger you know and read on a regular basis. It is even more of a revelation, if the blog is one that is entirely unrelated, to either yours or the blogging friend's writings.

In an instant, another area of common interest is discovered, further cementing the bond between two internet associates.

As bloggers discover more areas of commonality, more and more potential business alliances are possible.

The business expertise of several bloggers, may also expand to include abusiness possibility, never previously imagined.

The bloggers have the talent, and the mutual interest in blue widgets is the product or service.

Knowing your way around blog town will result in endless business associations and opportunities.

As you can see now, they are lying right under our noses.

All we have to do is reach out and grab them.





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Saturday, August 07, 2004

 

Finding business opportunities

Yesterday, I wrote a column about how bloggers possess all of the personal traits of natural entrepreneurs.

It simply seems logical to me, that bloggers should start their own micro-businesses, and other forms of small entrepreneurial ventures.

With the economy having for at least the last two decades, moved away from the traditional lifetime job, it's time to forget a career with only one employer. As careers become more fragmented, and often split into several entirely different paths, one strong option is self employment.

There has been no better time to consider becoming an entrepreneur.

Many people might argue the opposite case, but is it really that strong at all?

Telling people to find that one private sector job, that continues onward and upward until retirement age, has become a myth. It is not necessarily a bad thing either, as society changes, so do careers. It's time to work with those societal changes, rather than trying to fight them. Swimming against the current might sound heroic, but it's ultimately futile.

In place of the career employment mythology, I suggest entrepreneurship as a viable option.

Look around and you will see new businesses starting at a rapid pace. You may as well be one of the new class of self employed people.

Corporations and even governments are contracting out many services that were formerly conducted in house. The opportunity for a startup company, to swoop in and claim that business, has never been better. As an outsource business, you will be quicker to respond, have better project turnaround time, and provide a much lower cost to the contracting organization.

Just because your company might be lower cost doesn't mean you work for nothing either. In fact, your overall income could be much higher than in traditional employment. Even if your annual income is not more than you could receive working for someone else, you do gain many other nice offsetting benefits.

You gain tax benefits that allow deductions not available for employees. Business owners have other tax exemptions as well.

You can receive many government grants and loans to small businesses. There are many mentor organizations set up to help you with getting started and keeping your business going through good times and bad.

Best of all, you make the decsions about your future and your career.

That independence alone beats punching a time clock or filling in time cards.

Work hard, market your business well, provide your customers and clients with the best service they ever had from any company.

You are well on your way to being in charge of your own life and your own destiny.

Think about it.

Entrepreneurship might be just what you've been looking for all your life.





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Friday, August 06, 2004

 

Creating businesses with bloggers

I wrote a couple of recent posts about how bloggers are prime candidates to get together as associates and create startup businesses.

The logic is sound as bloggers already are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of many other bloggers. The knowledge of the likes and dislikes of potential business associates and partners is essential to a successful business.

The great thing about blogs is the fact that most bloggers have their personalities out there for all to see. For potential business associates, that's a good thing. Facts about other bloggers' personalities and lives will enhance most psrtnerships.

It certainly won't do them any harm. In the longer run, the knowledge of your potential business partners and their character will go far toward creating a positive business experience.

Why do I discuss this idea, you ask?

Well, I'm glad you asked. You are such a cooperative and gentle reader. I'm more than happy to answer.

I believe that within the next one to three years, we will see startup businesses that are a direct result of bloggers joining together, to create brand new companies.

With many bloggers being currently unemployed or underemployed, considering their highly developed skill set of qualifications, entrepreneurship offers a powerful alternative career.

Instead of being concerned with finding a job, bloggers will strongly accept the option of creating their own jobs. I think bloggers are prime entrepreneurial candidates for a number of reasons.

First of all, any person who starts and maintains a blog for any period of time is obviously a self starter. Without anyone giving the order to get a post written and placed on the internet, the blog owner simple does it. Being a self starter is an important trait in small business ownership.

A second characteristic of bloggers is related to the first. It's the ability to make a committment and stick to it. In the case of blogging, it's writing and posting a daily column of interest to the regular readers. That caring about readers readily translates into such things as strong customer service and product support.

Bloggers are extremely likely to be highly literate. As writers of words and communicators of ideas, businesses operated by such individuals will probably be strong on public relations, communications with the public, and in prepearing marketing literature.

Many people arrive at their blogging career from backgrounds in the media, public relations, sales and marketing, or as writers. All of those qualifications are powerful additions to any successful startup business.

As early adopters of a cutting edge concept like blogging, the new business people will be on the leading edge, of many new business ideas. Being able to read and understand new methods and techniques of operating a business will be almost a given. Instead of resisting new paradigms as "not invented here", blogger entrepreneurs will be prepared to accept or reject ideas, regardless of source.

The desire of most bloggers to reach out to other bloggers, through links and referrals, works exceptionally well in business. The natural networking skills, honed while blogging, will be a powerful tool for your new company. You already know how to meet and work with other people with a win-win objective in mind. As a business policy, win-win arrangements are very difficult to beat.

The qualties that make a great blogger, are one that are required to become a successful entrepreneur.

It's time to consider forming your own business, in partnership with other blog writers, and create your own company.

Instead of building someone else's fortune, do it for yourself.

As a blogger, you have all the personal tools to get the job done.



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Thursday, August 05, 2004

 

Missed a day of blogging

Just the other day, I wrote a column about taking a day off from blogging.

I wasn't suggesting it for myself, but it certainly worked out that way.

For some strange reason, I wasn't able to access my Blogger Dashboard, until early this morning.

I was also not feeling especially well today either. I spent the vast majority of the day in bed.

When a person is in bed, blogging doesn't magically take place all by itself.

I am working on a solution to that apparent obstacle to posting even as I type. There has to be a way to post while in bed. Who knows. Maybe sleep blogging will be the next big thing. It's a secret formula. Very hush hush. Alphabet named government departments and all of that.

I missed my blogging time. I suspect I might have a blogging addiction. I'll leave it up to all of you to decide, if that is a good thing, or if a twelve step program is in order.

Of course, the ideal treatment, for a blogging addiction, might be to blog about the blogging addiction.

One thing about being ill is the backlog created in the e-mail department. I am now well behind schedule on my spam deletions. I guess that's part of the penalty for missing a day on the blog.

The legendary actor and comedian W. C. Fields once allegedly said, "On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia.

I would say, "On the whole, I'd rather be blogging.



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Monday, August 02, 2004

 

Look for the Carnival of the Capitalists Big Top Now

The travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists, has set up the event at Jon Strande's always informative Business Evolutionist blog.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists features some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include new technology, internet technology and marketing, legal issues, health care, the economy, and as you would expect from the Business Evolutionist keyboard, there is marketing galore.

As an added bonus this week, there are many newer contributors to the Business Evolutionist Carnival, along with many of the regulars you have already met.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere. We don't always get to them all, and this week's Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced us to some brand new ones.

Like I always attempt to do, I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well. My entry post this week is entitled "Extra Visitors: Finding Them".

If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to:

capitalists -at- elhide.com

If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog. The extra visitors can't sent to your blog won't hurt either!

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists will be at Steven Taylor's thoughtful political blog known as PoliBlog.

In the meantime, take a tour of this week's Business Evolutionist hosted Carnival of the Capitalists.

You won't want to miss reading any of this week's tremendous entries.

I learned a lot from the many informative and interesting contributors.

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Thinking About Linking

Links are important.

All bloggers and traditional website owners want as many incoming links as possible.

Links are good for many things.

Links on other blogs and websites will send more traffic to your blog.

Trading links with other bloggers will let both blogs share their collective visitors. That sharing of readership can be multiplied many times over with multiple cross linking of many blogs to one another.

More incoming links helps to raise your blog's ranking in the search engine results pages, called SERPs by the search engine optimization (SEO) community.

While we all know that the dominant search engine Google values links very highly, be also aware that links are part of the Yahoo and MSN Search algorithms as well.

The search algorihm is the computer calculated formula, that search engines use to determine the relevance of a web page, to a search for any words or phrases. The search terms are called keywords.

Aside: I like to let you in on these little insider terms so you can amaze and astound your friends and family. Be the trivia nerd you always dreamed of becoming.

Incoming links will raise your blog's Google PageRank. Note that PageRank is not the same as rankings in the SERPs. PageRank measures the importance of a web page on the internet based on the number and quality of its incoming links.

The SERPs measure the relevance of a page in a search for the keywords entered into the little search box.

Okay, we all know that links are important and you want to get more of them.

That's a given, although I do know of a tradtional website owner who got mad when other people wanted to link to his site. He demanded their link to his site be removed. He was afraid of people from outside of his industry reading his site. He didn't want them at his site. True story.

Great content in your blog will always attract more links. That is a fact. Bloggers happily link to interesting and informative posts. Often, they will be yours.

Enter your best posts in the various online Carnivals. For example, I send a post as an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists every week. There are many more of them for bloggers of all tastes and interests.

The many Carnivals are a tremendous technique, for displaying your best writing, to a much wider internet community. Links soon follow as a natural result.

Trading links with other bloggers is another good idea. There are some stipulations, however.

Be sure to practice good link etiquette. It is generally considered to be good manners to put a link on your own blog first, and request a return link from that newly linked blog second.

Keep that in mind when you ask for links.

Many bloggers are bombarded with link exchange requests. Many of the requests are e-mail scams. As a result, they like to see that link on the requesting site first.

Think about the rules and ideas for links and your blog will explode in link popularity.



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Sunday, August 01, 2004

 

Search engines: Keeping them all happy

You have probably already heard that the ubiquitous industry leading search engine Google has some new competitors on the rise. Former powerhouse search engine Yahoo, following its absorption of Inktomi is poised to make a move.

MSN Search, backed by the powerful engineering and marketing ability of the Microsoft corporation, has designs on an enlarged market share as well.

Smaller search engines, including Teoma, are looking for their spot at the search engine table as well.

When you design and launch a new website, aiming for strong result placements on Google remains very important. You must never forget the rising players in the search engine game, however.

They have some similarities, and some differences, in how to achieve high rankings in their results. You need to know what makes them happy too.

As part of their desire to win the screens and minds of internet searchers, the various search engines offer onsite interfaces to attract your queries. By making their technology available to webmasters, the various search engines appear to be attempting to gain some grassroots search loyalty.

Site design and site promotion must take all of the search engines and their whims into account to gain high rankings.

All search engines use complex mathematical formulas, known as algorithms, to calculate the position of web pages in their search results. The basic functions of the search engines are the same. They send out computerized robots, known as spiders, to crawl the internet searching for web pages for their indexes.

Upon receiving a search request, the search engines examine all of the pages within their respective indexes, and return what their algorithm computes to be the most relevant results.
The various algorithms are unique to each search engine. In a broad sense, they use similar indicators of web page importance.

All search engines currently consider incoming links, on page content, and off page factors, in their calculations. Because of those similarities, the designer of a new website has some guidelines as to what is required to achieve high rankings.

There is some speculation that the new MSN Search will use on page word consideration in place of link and off page factors. The thought is that MSN will use word context as the primary search technique.

The word context system places emphasis on strong copywriting skills. How the words are used, in the on page copy, would determine the relevance of a web page. That sounds like a real advantage for blogs as a result.

Increasing the relevance of contextual keywords in a search algorithm would not only work in MSN Search, but would also benefit a site in the other major search engines. The addition of well written content, to any website, will help its placements in the search results.

By providing a solid reason for better written content, the addition of context based search could enhance the results in all of the search engines, regardless of algorithm. Content is a major part of all search engine results. In fact, that is what search engines attempt to provide.

A decline in such search engine terms of service violations, such as hidden text and doorway pages might be a positive result. Since those spam techniques can not provide any context relation to the on page content, they would be less of a threat to honest webmasters.

Such a search method would lessen the importance of keywords and incoming links. It is highly unlikely, however, that their value would be removed entirely. At the present time, that is only a possibility, as MSN continues to use similar calculations to the other search engines.

Regardless of search engine, there are many similarities in their requirements that must be considered, when you design your website. These are concepts of search engine optimization that are common to all search engine algorithms, to a greater or lesser degree. By utilizing them in your site design from the beginning, your website can get a head start in the search engine placements race.

Make certain that your newly designed site includes a good site map. Fortunately, they are provided in most blogging tools as part of the system.

At the same time, a site map gives you double service, as it helps the various search engine spiders to crawl and index all of your web pages. Most blogging platforms provide archive links and links to previous posts. Many blogging systems provide categories as well.

Be sure that the links to the various pages include the keywords for that specific page. Try to avoid general and vague terms like "home", "about us", etc. Use keywords that highlight the subject matter of the page. It not only helps the search engine spiders, but assists your visitors as well.

Place a unique title on each post on your blog. Use the main keywords for that page within the title tags. All of the search engine spiders can use that information, to help rank your page higher, in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

You get the added benefit of having more pages indexed by the search engines, meaning more entry points to your site. It is also generally thought that larger sites with more pages do better in the SERPs than smaller sites.

Place your keywords higher on the page when you create your content. Some search engines apparently prefer the keywords to appear sooner, emphasising their importance. Make certain that the keywords appear, throughout the written copy, to give all of the search engine spiders something tasty to nibble.

Since there is some difference in the spiders’ crawling preferences, you cover all the bases by sprinkling your keywords high, middle, and late in your copy. On your page, be careful about what appears at the top of your page.

Be careful of keyword density. While Yahoo and MSN Search possibly like more heavy keyword use, Google apparently has upper limits on their number. Be careful to use your keywords in the most appropriate locations, where they naturally flow in your copy, and you should experience no problems. Solid placement of keywords is a good idea. Overuse could be considered spamming; and that's a no-no.

While the addition of meta tags to your site may not carry any noticeable weight in the Google algorithm, such is not the case for the other search engines. There is some evidence that Yahoo and MSN Search consider meta tags in their search calculations. The use of meta tags was certainly a strong consideration in the Inktomi algorithm.

When you create a list of meta tags, be sure to only use the keywords that actually appear on that page. Do not use any keywords that are not included in that web page’s content. Over use of keywords, especially words that are unrelated to the on page content, could be viewed as spam by the search engines. Keep your meta tags precise and targeted for that page alone.

When designing your website, it’s important to keep the differences and similarities between the various search engines in mind.

While there are some differences in the algorithms utilized by the search engines, there are many features that are common to all of them.



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