July 31st, 2007 by Blogging Coach
Are you holding off from starting a blog simply because there are so many other bloggers out there? Worried about standing out from the pack and wondering how you’ll ever get traffic, lots of incoming links, and a high page rank? A little bit intimidated with blogs with tons of content and several years worth of posts in the archives?
First of all, remember that no one makes the A-list overnight. You may get spikes of traffic from a great post or by being popular on the social bookmarking sites, but building an amazing blog takes time. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Focus on the little things, and think of each incoming link, unique impression, and new subscriber as a building block for your blog. These all occur one at a time, but they definitely add up. Building up content is the same way – make the effort to post several times a week (or even every day if you’re ambitious), and before you know it, you’ll have created quite an impressive archive of knowledgeable content.
Search engines love sites with tons of content on related topics, so the simple act of writing a post helps with SEO (of course, it’s even better if it is a keyword-rich post, but you knew that, right?). Of course, search engines also love sites that are constantly updated, so posting as often as possible is another simple SEO boost.
It’s also important to remember that you don’t need to write a book every day. Some of the best, most informative articles out there are only a few paragraphs long, and it’s difficult to read tons of text on a computer screen anyways (so be sure to break up blocks of text somehow, whether you use bold headings, bullet points, or similar techniques).
So get started on your blog, take it one day at a time, and you may end up being amazed at what you’ve built.
Posted in Blogging, Blogging Techniques, Creating Content, General, Getting Started, Link Building, Why Blog?, Writing | 9 Comments »
July 30th, 2007 by Blogging Coach
Next time you’re sitting in front of a blank screen, the cursor blinking like a cruel taunt saying “aren’t you supposed to be the brilliant creative one? Why can’t you think of something to write about?” (or maybe that’s just me), try writing about something you’ve bought recently. It doesn’t matter if it was as small as a cup of coffee or as large as a new home, just as long as it was remarkable.
1. Write about a delicious meal. Writing about a fabulous restaurant or great little cafe can be an excellent move even if you’re not a foodie blogger. For instance, if you own a store of any kind, tell your readers about the best “hidden gem” eateries in the area. Hey, it’ll encourage them to check out the neighborhood and establish you as a local authority. Besides, it’s a good way to help out another business owner.
2. Write about a book or magazine. Have you picked up a new book or discovered a new magazine lately? Why did you buy it? Link to other articles about the book, explain why this particular book appealed to you, review it if you’re already read it, etc. If you come across an excellent new resource in your topic area, tell other people about it.
3. Write about a new gadget. Did you get a new computer, phone, camera, or other fun shiny object recently? Share your experience, talk about it’s functions, explain how the gadget is valuable to you. Try to make it relevant to your niche by telling readers how this particular shiny object makes your life and business better.
4. Write about an experience. Did you go to a cool concert or attend an interesting seminar? Why not write it up for your readers? Don’t forget to check out YouTube for clips of the event in question, especially if you know it was being recorded. After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth at least a million.
5. Write about excellent customer service. Did a company impress you with their amazing customer service? Talk about it! Relate it to your business (almost everyone has customers/clients to deal with), use it as a stellar example how a company succeeded. Of course, the flip side to this is to blog about poor customer service, and if you do that, take the opportunity to deliver some constructive criticism instead of just complaining.
So if you’re ever at a loss for blogging words, think about the last few things you spent money on, or the last remarkable customer service you had. Recommending quality products and experiences is just one more way to establish authority, after all, and if something improved your life and business, your readers want to know about it.
Posted in Blogger's Block, Blogging, Blogging Techniques, Creating Content, General, Stories, Writing | No Comments »
July 27th, 2007 by Blogging Coach
Here’s my weekly round-up of interesting links:
Been blogging for a little while? Chris Brogan has advice on how to take your blog to the next level.
The SEO rockstars at SEOmoz have created A Complete Glossary of Essential SEO Jargon, which is an excellent resource, particularly if you’re new to the world of SEO (besides, how many times have I said that creating a glossary or dictionary is an excellent idea?).
Looking to improve your writing? Brian Clark of Copyblogger has some simple advice for you with 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer.
Here’s more blogging advice from the CEO of Technorati, David L. Sirfry – who would definitely know something about what makes a blog popular.
Web Worker Daily has a list of 10 Ways To Be More Productive With Your Blog – and their tips are useful for everyone, not just web workers.
Have an awesome weekend!
Posted in Blogging, General, Links | No Comments »
July 27th, 2007 by Blogging Coach
You’ve probably heard the phrase “long tail” before, especially in regard to business and marketing. Essentially, the long tail is the tail end of a demand curve – there may be lots of people who buy the latest #1 single, but there are many more people buying all sorts of different, obscure albums – the total number of the people buying the varied music is much greater than the people buying the #1 hit. The long tail is part of the reason why companies like Amazon are so successful – they offer tons of different niche items. The inter-connectedness and global scope of the web has made the long tail and catering to niche markets a viable business strategy.
However, the long tail is also relevant to SEO. Very significant percentage of searches are “long tail searches”, that consist longer, more specific queries that naturally tend to yield fewer results. For instance, if you’re looking for a newly built condo in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood, wouldn’t you type “Chicago condominiums South Loop real estate new construction” or something similar into the search box? After, you’re much likely to find what you’re looking for that way than by just using “Chicago real estate”. Long tail searchers are looking for something very specific. This post on Search Engine Watch’s blog has excellent visuals illustrating long tail searches.
So how does this apply to your blog? Think about your niche and your own unique skills and characteristics. Narrow down your keywords – instead of only using “Chicago real estate agent”, make sure to write about the particular neighborhoods and types of properties you specialize in, for example. Or if you’re any kind of retailer (chances are if you’re an online retailer, you’re already very familiar with niche markets and the long tail), write constant posts about your products. Try to create the most detailed descriptions possible, and aim to be your readers’ source for the latest information about new products in your niche.
Targeting the long tail may end up benefiting you more in the long run – after all, long tail searchers tend to be looking for very specific information, and if you fit into their desired niche, they are that much more likely to bookmark your blog and/or become clients or customers someday.
Posted in Blogging, Blogging Techniques, Creating Content, General, SEO, SEO for Bloggers | No Comments »
July 26th, 2007 by Blogging Coach
I was very, very impressed by this guest post on Problogger from Gala of iCiNG about the 9 Lessons she’s learned from blogging. Yes, she’s a niche blogger -her blog deals with fashion and style, which are common topics in the blogosphere but she definitely adds her own unique spin to everything. She points out an incredibly important aspect of blogging that I’d be willing to bet all successful bloggers know.
And I quote:
Blogging isn’t about shouting the loudest or being really important, it’s about connecting & engaging in a dialogue with other people. If you’re not actually interested in interacting with anyone else or hearing other people’s opinions, you might as well be keeping a diary for yourself. Like it or lump it, having a blog is like being in retail. If people don’t like you, they will go (& spend their money) elsewhere.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times – successful bloggers manage to connect and communicate with their readers, and that’s what makes them so popular. On the most basic level, they create value for their readers, and that’s why readers keep coming back.
Yes, listening and responding to your readers takes some time, but remember that they are like customers – keeping readers interested is essential to your success. If you put in the hours creating compelling content, whether it’s a how-to or a round-up of useful resources, it will eventually pay off. Of course, you need to promote it with SEO and link-building, but you had better concentrate on creating something quality to market first.
One excellent way to create value is to teach your readers something. If you’re a business blogger, chances are there’s at least one area where you possess some expertise, so share your knowledge with your visitors. By helping others you can help yourself. An example from the sports world – hockey great Wayne Gretzky recorded more than twice as many assists as goals (1963 career assists vs. 894 goals), and he still holds almost every possible scoring record. It’s clear that he helped his teammates succeed, and now he’s considered one of the greatest hockey players of all time.
Focus on what you can give to your readers – “ask not what your readers can do for you, ask what you can do for your readers“. Yes, I took some serious liberties with John F. Kennedy’s classic phrase, but it’s important for bloggers to remember that they must contribute to community in order to reap its rewards.
Posted in Blogging, Blogging Techniques, Creating Content, General, Getting Started, PR Blogging, public relations, Stories, Why Blog?, Writing | No Comments »
July 26th, 2007 by admin
Sweet Pink! is a 2 column wordpress template. Right sidebar is widget ready and of course Search Engine Friendly.
Click here for preview
Posted in SEO Wordpress Templates | 4 Comments »
July 25th, 2007 by Blogging Coach
Almost all bloggers are going to encounter critics at some point, especially bloggers who are passionate about their topics and committed to sharing their ideas with the world. Passion and conviction can polarize people, and it takes courage to publish your thoughts, especially if your topics are in any way controversial.
Criticism is a Fact of Blogging Life
A thick skin is vital to participating in blogosphere, because you are opening yourself up to criticism in the form of comments and emails, and even if you don’t enable comments or provide a way for your readers to contact you, that won’t necessarily stop them from talking about you – but isn’t that why you started a blog? To make people aware of you and your company? However, it’s important to differentiate between constructive criticism and flames (criticism for the sake of being derogatory or insulting, essentially taking cheap shots in order to pick a fight).
Examine Your Critics
Basically, you have to understand the source – know when to take someone’s opinion seriously and when to dismiss it as a mere feedback. For instance, you’d take the opinion of an expert in your field much more seriously than someone completely unfamiliar with it, so take a look at who is doing the criticizing. Also, pay attention to the numbers – are many of your readers disagreeing with you on a particular point or is there is a lone dissenter? Remember that you can’t please everyone all the time, and if you try to do that, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up with a bland, entirely forgettable blog.
Be Open to Change
No matter how much expertise you have, it’s always important to be open to new ideas and concepts. In fact, that’s one of the many reasons blogging can help you achieve your business goals – it’s a continual learning process that forces you to keep up with the latest news and trends in your field, and exposes your ideas to many more people than any other method. Blogging is a form of media, after all. By publishing your thoughts, you’re inviting others to join the discussion, and they may have some amazing knowledge to share.
Posted in Blogging, Blogging Don'ts, Blogging Techniques, Creating Content, General, PR Blogging, public relations, Stickiness | No Comments »
July 25th, 2007 by admin
I have upgraded Mandigo to 1.24. More options, bug fixes, and much more. Check out for full changes on OneHertz’s site.
Posted in SEO Wordpress Templates | No Comments »
July 24th, 2007 by Blogging Coach
Blogging is essentially a social, conversational medium, so it only goes to follow that you can’t successfully blog in a vacuum. You have to read and respond to other bloggers, link to outside websites, and be aware of what others in niche are talking about by participating in the popular social media networks.
Basically, you have to read at least as much as you write. First of all, reading and absorbing the work of talented writers is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to developing your own writing voice. It only goes to follow that, if you want to get the most out of your blog, you have to read other blogs as well. Besides, being aware of the current popular topics in in the blogosphere is valuable, and you’ll never know where you’ll pick up a great tip or two.
You don’t even necessarily have to read tons of blogs about blogging (although as your Blogging Coach, I would say that you should definitely keep an eye on a few meta-blogs); useful, well-written advice and positive examples can be found on blogs in any niche. It’s also important to check out blogs that discuss similar topics to yours, so you can pick up on market trends and see if anyone has written, linked to, or created anything interesting.
One of the key differences between blogging and more traditional forms of media, marketing, and public relations is that it’s a two way street. Yes, your readers can and will respond to your posts in the comments, but other bloggers can write responses on their blogs too. Reacting and sharing opinions are a key part of participating in the blogosphere, so it’s not only useful, it’s imperative that you read at least a few other blogs.
Don’t think that you have the time to read? Try subscribing to your favorites and scanning them in a reader (I personally prefer Google Reader, but there are tons of options out there), or tagging posts that intrigue you with a “toread” tag in del.icio.us and coming back them when you have time to spare.
What other blogs do you read? Do you read them for news, education, inspiration, or entertainment (or a mix of all the above?)
Posted in Blogging Don'ts, Blogging Techniques, General, Link Building, PR Blogging, Social Media Networks, Stories, Why Blog? | 1 Comment »
July 24th, 2007 by admin
Beautiful Day is a two column WordPress template with a right sidebar that is widget ready. Top has menu for Pages. Also has support for Theme Switcher plugin.
Click here for preview
Posted in SEO Wordpress Templates | No Comments »