Monthly Archives: November 2014

Standing Out from the Competition

If you have done your research correctly, you have undoubtedly discovered that many other websites cover your topic in an authoritative way. Depending on your niche, competition might be fierce for top-ranking search engine results. Given this competitive environment, you need to be creative in your approach so that you can guarantee the success of your content.

Building content that readers will want to share is one major piece of the puzzle. It doesn’t matter how well your competitor ranks in search engines if you’re getting more visitors each day through social sharing. The links generated by all of that activity will raise your rank naturally.

The other method for outstripping your competition is to present the information in a new way. Use your research to discover what questions are not being answered fully, and strive to provide a more thorough response. Give your content some personality and relate to your readers on an individual basis.

For example, imagine that you’re writing an article about dog training. You’ve used the tools discussed early to identify the niche vocabulary and see what people are searching for. Now, take the very best bits of information that you’ve gathered from other sites in your niche and present it in a more interesting manner. Try to really get inside the mind of the person who will be searching for your content. Instead of writing the article “How to Train Your Dog,” write it from the angle of, “Why Does My Dog Keep Chewing My Sofa?” or “How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Barking?”

These are exactly the types of personal questions that people are increasingly likely to type into search engines. Using “I” in the headers and titles creates an immediate personal bond with your reader, and infusing the information with personality will help it stand out from the crowd. Every step of the way, keep asking yourself what your reader wants to know and how to best deliver that information.

Organization Tips For Bloggers

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Poor organization is a common pitfall from which many bloggers suffer. When you’re trying to micromanage half a dozen or more blogs, each of which contains its own domain name, content management system, and niche, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. So instead of publishing new posts to your blogs on a regular basis, you may begin to neglect them simply because you aren’t organized.

Start Small

The golden rule of blogging is to start small. When you try to get a dozen or more blogs up and running, there’s really no way you can monitor and adjust them as necessary. When you only work on a couple, though, you’ll have a better chance at turning them into profitable, long-term blogs with an established following of readers. There’s nothing wrong with launching a large network of blogs, but you should only expand after you’ve experienced success with your first couple of blogs.

Plan First

The golden rule of starting a blog (or any website for that matter) is to plan ahead. Ask yourself, what do I hope to accomplish with this blog? Some people blog for the simple joy of sharing their opinions with the world, while others blog because it’s their job. If you intend to turn a profit on your blog, you’ll need to choose some type of monetization system, such an affiliate network, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, direct sales, leads, etc.

Here are some of the things to consider when launching a blog:

  • What type of content management system (CMS) will it use?
  • Will you allow visitor comments?
  • What domain name will your blog use?
  • What web host will your blog use?
  • What type of content do you intend on publishing?
  • When do you intend to publish new posts?
  • Will you perform social bookmarking on your blog’s new posts?

Use OneTab

Ask any seasoned blogger and they’ll agree: it’s not uncommon to have 10, 20 or even 30+ tabs open in your web browser when researching post topics. So, how are you supposed to stay organized with such a massive amount of information sitting in your web browser? I recommend using a free Chrome/FireFox extension called OneTab. When you have too many tabs cluttering your web browser, you simply click the OneTab button and it will convert them into a simple, easy-to-use list. When you’re ready to access them again, click the button to place them back on your browser.

A side benefit of OneTab is its ability to speed up your web browser. Running dozens of tab simultaneously will inevitably slow down your web browser, but OneTab temporary disables them from using your system resources.

Going Viral as a Standard of Quality

Today’s Internet is highly social. Content is shared by individuals through their social media profiles in addition to their emails, instant messaging programs and forums. This means that many people are not discovering their websites through search engines today. Instead, they’re finding them through links left by other Internet users. Therefore, as a webmaster, it’s your duty to ensure that your site is optimized not just for search engines but also for sharing among users.

Basically, your goal with any piece of content that you create should be to make something people will want to share. To do this, you’ll need content that’s high-quality, trustworthy and authoritative. It will also need to offer something that cannot be found elsewhere.

Some types of content are more readily shared than others:

  • List-format articles that deliver information in bite-size chunks. Lists of facts and trivia are particularly valuable as people find them interesting and are more likely to remember them than if the information were delivered in another format.
  • Quizzes and other types of interactive content. Users like to share their results with friends and compare notes. Use this to your advantage when thinking of ways to design your content.
  • Tools that are useful to visitors. These might include guides and how-to content or tools that can be used in daily life.
  • Images, videos, sound files and other multimedia methods for conveying information quickly and in an entertaining manner.
  • Content that is controversial and thought-provoking will do better than content that takes a more neutral stance.

When you’re looking for content ideas for your website, look around at the social media profiles of your friends and family. This should give you a very good idea of what people are most likely to share or be interested in. You can also view the social media presence of your competitors within a niche. The most successful sites will have content that invites sharing and virality.

How To Attract More Readers To Your Blog

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The number of readers a blog has is a direct indication of its success. Blogs with a strong, loyal following will rank higher and generate more sales/leads than blogs with only a trickle of visitors. Search engines like Google and Bing pay close attention to readership, factoring it into their decision on where to rank websites and for which keywords. So, how can you attract more readers to your blog?

Quality Over Quantity…

Far too many bloggers are in the mindset of publishing multiple posts of mediocre quality rather a single high-quality post. But a smarter and more effective approach is to focus on quality over quantity. Instead of publishing half a dozen different blog posts in a week, perhaps you can write a single post. You’ll have less content on your blog, but the content will be higher quality; thus, encouraging more readers along with a higher search engine ranking.

Break Up Your Content

You can attract more readers to your blog by breaking the content up into small, easy-to-digest segments. The human brain is hardwired to read content by scanning it as a whole, not word for word. Simply writing a wall of text will discourage visitors from actually reading your posts, many of whom will prefer to click the back button in their web browser.

So, how can you break up your blog’s content? There are several different ways to accomplish this, including the use of sub-headings, bullet-point lists, bold keywords and phrases, italicize words, include relevant images, embed videos, add tables, etc.

Post ‘Hot’ Topics

Another effective way to attract more readers to your blog is to publish posts on hot topics and current events. If a significant number of people are searching for a particular topic, writing a post on it will naturally draw more attention to your blog. You can find hot topics by scanning Google News, Google Trends, and even social media websites like Facebook and Twitter.

Post Regularly

One of the biggest mistakes bloggers make is failing to publish new posts regularly. They may publish a couple posts after setting up their blog, only to neglect it later. Blogs are driven by returning visitors — visitors who are interested in reading new posts from the respective blogger. The bottom line is that you must publish new posts on a regular basis to encourage visitors to return.

Have any other blogging tips you’d like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!

Getting Paid To Blog: What You Should Know

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Not long ago, blogs were used mainly by students and people looking to voice their political opinions. Today, people are getting to paid to blog about virtually any topic under the sun, and the best part is that it can be quite lucrative when done right. If you’re the owner of a high-traffic blog or looking to start one, keep reading to find out how you can turn all of those visitors into cash.

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is “how much money can I make blogging?” Well, there’s no easy answer to this, as your pay will likely be based on many different factors. One the biggest contributing factors is your previous experience and examples. Do you post frequently on a blog? Do you have an author account at some of the popular article directories? If you’re serious about getting paid to blog, then you need to show examples of your work. No one wants to hire someone they haven’t used before and simply trust they are skilled and get the job done. It’s a business for everyone involved and that means using your best judgment on finding the right blogger.

If you’re the owner a popular blog with an attractive Alexa rating and Page Rank, then companies and individuals will likely offer you a significant amount more over a low-traffic blog. Remember, companies want people (your visitors) to see the post written about them. This visibility and word-of-mouth created by you is essentially what they’re paying for. For this reason, I recommend spending some time and doing both on-site and off-site search engine optimization on your blog. Start by going through and tightening up your META keywords and descriptions. Next, focus on your sites content by editing previous posts and ensuring they all have titles, h1 tags, h2 tags, and are free of grammar mistakes.

After fixing up your blog, go out and promote it. There are thousands of blog directories which allow you to submit your blog with a description and hyperlink. You don’t have to go through and submit to every one, though. Instead, just focus on the high-quality directories with a popular Alexa rating. Another link building technique I recommend is social networking. Create a Facebook, Twitter and Linked In account for your website. Once created, you can either post on the various accounts periodically, or set it up to automatically pull and publish snippets of the latest posts from your blog.

As your blog grows in popularity, you’ll see the price companies are willing to pay you rise as well. Remember, it’s all about visibility when it comes to selling blog posts. Companies want to buy blog posts that people are going to see. If no one comes to your blog, it doesn’t matter how informative or good your post is.

Getting paid to blog isn’t hard, but if you want to earn serious income, you have to put forth the extra effort. You’ll need to spend time practicing writing and researching blog posts, as well building your blog into a high-traffic website that visitors come back to. Stay focused and you’ll eventually see your blog rise in popularity as more companies seek your services.