InterServer Web Hosting and VPS
Showing posts with label Blogging Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging Tips. Show all posts

Monday, January 7, 2013

Using Google Image Search to get free traffic to your blog

Google Image Search will get you free traffic

Google Image Search works very well for free traffic especially when you have content that relies heavily on images, clip art and vectors.

The trick is to name your images in a SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly way to ensure your images show up on on page one in search results.

The most important SEO tricks to implement include:

    1.    Name your images properly.
    2.    Be sure to add an "alt tag" to your image.
    3.    Add a title attribute to your image.

Just a quick byte I picked up along the way, reading up on how to optimize my blog.

Search engines love images, so always try to use images in your blog posts, and name them appropriately.

Like this trick?

Let me know and leave your email address and I will send you more tips and tricks I am picking up from the experts on SEO.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Top 20 Free Blog Directories

List of top 20 PR 5+ free blog directories with no registration required

The easiest and most effective way to maximize exposure of your blog is to list it in popular directories. Listing your blog in popular directories is important if you want to gain more exposure and increase your targeted traffic, as long as you have fresh and quality content. It also increases the number of backlinks to your blog, more so from these directories themselves.

Personally I do not submit my blog to any directory that requires me to pay, and I do not recommend that anyone should pay to submit their blogs to a directory. There are very many good directories on the www that accept your blog and give you good mileage for your listing - free of cost.

It is however, advisable to select directories with a good PR, preferably PR 5 and above as this improves the chances of your blog and its content showing up high on search engine reports.

The directories listed below are classified first by Google PageRank, then Alexa Ranking. These directories do not need registration but in some cases you may be required to submit your blog to a category or give a reciprocal link. I have indicated "yes" or "no" for these options.

To submit your blog simply click on the name link and it will open in a new page.
Directory Google PR Alexa Ranking Registration Category Link 7 1345 No No No 7 7452 No Yes No 7 42354 No Yes No 7 4048 No Yes No 6 29545 No No No 6 17582 No No No 6 26607 No Yes No 6 2040 No No No 6 63704 No No Yes 6 4550 No Yes No 6 17337 No Yes No 6 43497 No No No 6 59133 No No No 6 61515 No No No 5 47888 No No No 5 858590 No Yes Yes 5 264796 No Yes No 5 440439 No Yes Yes 5 33365 No Yes Optional 5 163601 No Yes Yes
This list is a work in progress and I will continue to update it, as and when Google PR and Alexa rankings are updated. The list should eventually grow to about 100 directories, all of PR 5+.

Do you know any directories that we can add to this list? Send me your suggestions...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The secret of successful blogging

"Real niche" blogging

When you decide to start blogging, one of your biggest challenges will be whether to use your blog to promote your business or profession, make money from the blog or simply share thoughts on a subject that you love.

It may be worth noting that whereas anyone can start a blog, not everyone can write content that everyone (or anyone, for that matter) wants to read.  The most important part of any blog is what you say, how you say it and who you say it to.  Writing honestly and openly about subjects you are an authority on and have a passion for is what will get people who are interested in that subject matter coming back to your blog again and again.

Niche blogging is about focusing on a subject, concentrating on building a following and writing quality and relevant content for advertisers and other bloggers to get attracted to your content.  Personally I would break down niche blogging into three different categories (there could be more) including:
  • Niche business blogs -  These are determined by the present business of the blogger and are also used to supplement the business,
  • Niche website blogs -  In my opinion these are low quality blogs with little to offer their readership apart from referring services, even though they do generate a lot of income for these, 
  • "Real niche" blogs - These type of blogs are determined by your skill or interests. Business blogs can also fall into this category, but "real niche" blogs are normally independent from any other site or service. They can be run as a business within themselves or they can just be personal blogs uses to share thoughts on subjects of high interest and knowledge to the blog owner. 
"Real niche" blogging establishes you as an expert on a specific subject and people will be more likely to visit your blog for the specific information you can provide meaning that with time you will see the traffic to your blog increase steadily based on how much work you are willing to put into promoting your blog. Your "real niche" blog will begin to build followers who will be like-minded people eager to share their thoughts, opinions and ask you questions based on your area of expertise or authority.  "Real niche" blogs are a medium that can be used to bring people with similar interests together to discuss their favorite topic and interact with you and your readers.   Take the online shopping niche for example.  If you write blog posts reviewing online shopping, the pros & cons, the opportunities and the deals on offer, chances are you will develop a good following of people looking to find free coupons, discounts and other deals online. People want to feel part of a community, and by "real niche" blogging, you are helping them achieve this and they will keep coming back for new updates or questions on the topics of your specific skill or knowledge. 

As your "real niche" blog develops you will find that you do not spend as much time writing for your blog as you might have initially thought. You soon realize that most of your blogging time is taken up by reading and responding to comments from your followers and posting comments on other more popular blogs. This is in fact one of the secrets to blogging success and it will help you to:
  • develop new blog post ideas, 
  • learn new techniques to enhance your blog,
  • improve your writing skills,  
  • get your blog noticed within the community you are building, 
  • connect with and build relationships with other bloggers and,
  • improve your blog traffic.
While its possible to rank well in search engines with general blogs, it's much easier to get a higher ranking when you have a focused topic you blog about regularly.  Search engines tend to focus their indexing more on blogs that have authoritative, focused and quality content on a regular basis.  In my opinion niche blogging will always be better than general blogging, especially if you want to establish yourself as a credible expert in the community and potentially create a source of revenue from your blog.

The first step in your quest for a "real niche" blog is to figure out your purpose, establish your message and if you plan to take your blog to the top of the list, find an untapped niche. Choose an interesting topic you are passionate about and put a few authoritative twists on it. Once you find your niche and dedicate your time to dominating it, you will end up with a highly successful blog.

Want to blog effectively and successfully? Build yourself a "real niche" blog.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Get free backlinks...

"CommentLuv" and four hours reading and commenting on posts!

Yesterday I spent my morning reading articles on various blogs, posting comments on almost each article I read.  Most, if not all of the comments were posted on articles that had the CommentLuv plugin installed.  Those of you familiar with CommentLuv will know why my four hour effort was concentrated on sites which had the plugin installed leaving comments while in the process "marketing" my posts to site owners and their readers.  

CommentLuv is a plugin that gives readers of enabled sites the option of an automatic link back to their last blog post at the end of their comment if they have entered their URL on the comment form.  The plugin visits the site of the comment author as they type and retrieve the latest blog post for inclusion at at the end of their comments.  This effectively gives you an automatic backlink to the site where you have left your comments.

The upside of CommentLuv is that it does encourage social engagement and more comments which is what we need for our blogs to become popular and become monetized. Lets face it;  we all want people to read our blogs and that is why we want our blogs and our articles to appear at the top of search engine results.  To achieve this, we need a good number of backlinks and if these backlinks come from other "top" blogs we are well on the way to achieving this.  As a commentator the biggest benefit is you can get a quality and relevant dofollow backlink from enabled blogs.

The downside? There is a limit to how many relevant comments you can post in four long hours, more so when most of the blogs you visit have nothing to do with your niche or the content of the posts you are linking back to them. But, there is no limit to the number of useless comments (spam?) from commentators who are doing so purely to get that dofollow backlink.

But then again sometimes we all just want an easy way to get a few backlinks.

Here is another way to get those backlinks
Try adding internal links on your own blog or site, from one post to another as these also count as backlinks.  Whenever you write a new post try and link it to a relevant previous post.  This works two ways in that you are adding another backlink for the Search Engines and also encouraging visitors to your site to read more posts via that link.

Other methods to add backlinks include:
Submitting your blog feed to the RSS Directories
Write quality and unique content
Social bookmark your posts
Post videos on your blog and submit them to different video sites
Guest posting

All said and done, lets share the Luv! When you  install CommentLuv on your blog, let me know and I will surely come hunting for that elusive backlink with a comment or two (relevant, of course)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Make your keywords work for you

The power of keywords

 The buzz word in todays blogosphere is "keywords"… But just what is a keyword and how does one go about choosing top keywords for their blogs?  A keyword is a word of great significance or a word that acts as a key to a cipher or code.  In SEO terms a keyword is an index entry that identifies a specific record or document and  is used by search engines to find relevant web pages.

Keywords are often used by advertisers in search engine optimization, or by visitors using search engines in an effort to find relevant information based on those particular keywords.  Keywords are used in various combinations of words known as keyword phrases or search terms.  When searching for information on the web you would normally key in a combination of words describing what you are searching for and the search engine then checks its database and returns a list with pages matching your search criteria. Entering single words into a search engine normally returns results which are very broad and often irrelevant hence the use of keyword phrases to narrow your search.  Keywords are the words that are most used to search for information on search engines and can then simply be described as "the right words".  These are the words that get peoples attention and trust, and also persuade them to buy your products or services in the future.  Choosing the right words ensures that you get lots of traffic, new subscribers, earn more revenue and gain more influence in your niche… everything you need for the success of your blog.

Choosing keywords is about knowing the audience in your niche and learning which words will get their attention, earn their trust and thereby drive traffic to your blog. You have to “optimize” your articles and posts for maximum effect on your niche audience.  It does not help to Google the Top Ten Keywords and pick a few to use in your posts irrespective of their relevance.  Keywords must come from your article and should always be the ones that not only best reflect your article, but also get you the most search traffic from people looking for content relevant to those keywords.  If you are looking to build an audience for your website, you will want to use the most effective keywords possible from your articles.  The only way to go about this is researching and looking up the number of searches each version of a keyword gets. (e.g. "website", "web-site", "web site" - we may read these three word in the same way, but search engines consider them to be three totally different keyword phrases).  Doing research is the practically the only way you will learn which keywords are effective for your blog and its niche.

Keywords and keyword phrases are one of the most important components of SEO.  You can boost the traffic coming to your blog from search engines by using effective keywords.  You will have to do keyword research and determine which keywords will drive the highest traffic to your blog.  You can then incorporate these keywords into your post titles, in the blog post, in the image ALT-tags and in the links within your blog.

Try to avoid keyword stuffing as most search engines consider this spamming and will ignore your blog. Using keywords in the first 200 words of your post, in the middle and near the end can be very effective.  Always be sure to use keywords that are relevant not just to your post, your images and your links, but also to your niche audience otherwise you will always turn up in the wrong searches and render your blog irrelevant.

Its important to remember that keywords are not just about getting traffic to your blog - they are about understanding your niche inside and out in order to deliver relevant and quality content to them.